Transylvania alum and former All-American Matt Vogel enters his fifth season at the helm of the Transylvania men’s soccer program for the 2018 season.
Over the course of Vogel’s five-year tenure, the Pioneers men’s soccer program has enjoyed a return to glory, a resurgence which hit its latest peak in the 2017 season. In Vogel’s fourth season, Transylvania won its first HCAC regular season and tournament titles in four years and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the Vogel era and the first time since 2012.
2017 reaped dividends for the Transylvania men’s soccer program from a foundation Vogel established upon his return to Transy in 2014. Under the leadership of Vogel, the Pioneers produced the HCAC Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Players in Riley Calhoon and Tyler-Joy Brandon.
Vogel designed a back line in 2017 which became a nationally-regarded defensive juggernaut, ranking fifth nationally during the regular season in goals-against average (0.37 GAA) while sophomore goalkeeper Drew Grisham ranked eighth in the country in goals-against average. The Pioneers produced 12 clean sheets in the 2017 season, culminating in Joy-Brandon earning United Soccer Coaches First-Team All-American honors. The Pioneers won their first 11 games of the 2017 season, which eventually led to an 8-1 run through the HCAC slate and a regular season championship.
The Pioneers continued their streak through the HCAC Tournament, earning a 2-1 victory over Rose-Hulman for their first HCAC Conference Tournament title since 2012. The Pioneers advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament, falling 1-0 to Kenyon in a tightly-contested defensive performance. While the Pioneers’ run to the NCAA Tournament ended in the first round last season, their 2017 run has set the tone for the next step in the program’s evolution.
The first four years of his tenure at his alma mater have allowed Vogel to make his own personal imprint upon the program, much in same way he did during his decorated playing days at Transylvania.
The hallmark 2017 campaign built upon a 2016 run that witnessed Transy post its best regular season in four years, finishing 12-3-3 and going 7-1-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play. With a young and talented squad boosted by a backbone of a few key upperclassmen, the Pioneers became regionally ranked by the NSCAA for the first time in five years and finished 2nd in HCAC play, just short of another conference title.
Ranked nationally in several offensive and defensive categories, the Pioneers went undefeated at home during the regular season and went their first seven games of the season without defeat. At season’s end, 10 Pioneers earned all-conference honors, including freshman Jason Murillo landing Freshman of the Year honors.
Vogel’s guidance resulted in additional accolades, highlighted by sophomore center back Tyler Joy-Brandon being selected to the NSCAA Great Lakes All-Region Team.
In his first season, Vogel led the Pioneers to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season title and fell just short of a NCAA tournament bid, falling in double overtime in the HCAC championship.
Under Vogel, the Transy offense was the most potent in the conference, averaging 2.5 goals per contest and tallying 31 assists. The Pioneer defense was just as effective, limiting opponents to a mere 0.94 goals per contest. The defensive unit recorded six shutouts, tying an HCAC record.
Seven Pioneers earned all-conference honors following the 2014 season, including freshman Riley Calhoon landing Freshman of the Year honors.
In his second season, the Pioneers compiled a 5-1-3 record in conference play, limiting opponents to 0.68 goals against average, which was ranked first in the conference. The Pioneers advanced to the HCAC tournament semi-finals while producing five all-conference players during the campaign.
Vogel is a 2008 Transylvania graduate in exercise science and business administration and former Pioneer varsity student-athlete for three seasons. He received the prestigious 2008 Transylvania Male Athlete of the Year award, while also being a two-time All-American selection by NSCAA and D3Kicks.com, the 2007 Heartland conference Player of the Year, a three-time NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region selection, a three-time All HCAC selection, a three-Time Transylvania Soccer MVP, and led the team to its first ever NCAA tournament “Sweet 16” appearance in 2007. He also earned a varsity letter in 2004 from the University of Kentucky.
Vogel also excelled in the classroom while at Transylvania, maintaining an overall 3.7 GPA, receiving Dean’s list honors on three separate occasions. Using his knowledge and experience from his time at Transylvania, Vogel went on to earn a Master’s of Education in Health Promotion and Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) with a perfect 4.0 GPA at the University of Kentucky in 2012.
Vogel possesses a distinguished coaching resume. In his young coaching career, Matt has earned such honors as 2012 NSCAA Div. II KY State Coach of the Year, 2012 KHSAA High School Boys Small Schools Coach of the Year, 2011 Region II Boys Competitive Coach of the Year, and the 2011 Kentucky Boys Competitive Coach of the Year. He has earned these honors as the Head Coach at Mercer County High School, Head Coach at Lexington FC, and Staff Coach with the Kentucky Olympic Development Program. In addition, Vogel earned valuable knowledge as a Graduate Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Kentucky, overseeing several athletics teams during his time there.