Point Hunter: Ryan Carmichael

Written by Michael Lewis

Ryan Carmichael figures he isn’t quite finished adding to his goal-scoring account in 2022.

After ripping the net 13 times for the Long Island Rough Riders this summer, the Armagh, Northern Ireland native is setting his sights on continuing his feats for Hofstra University this fall season.

Last year, Carmichael turned heads with a NCAA Division I best 39 points on the strength of 15 goals and nine assists.

Entering his junior season with the Pride, Carmichael wants to at least equal that impressive production number. Carmichael said his personal goal was “to match my output from last year of 15 goals again. If I could do that, it would be a [great].”

Carmichael, who was named a Colonial Athletic Association first-team selection in 2021, has high expectations for the Pride as well.

Hofstra was ranked No. 17 in the United Soccer Coaches preseason poll, but Carmichael realized he and his teammates will have to work hard to maintain that high ranking and even move up the NCAA Division I men’s ladder.

“We’ve set the standards high,” he said. “People are going to be gunning for us now. We are going to be much better. I think we can go further than last year.”

The Pride reached the third round of the Division I tournament, losing to the University of Pittsburgh.

Carmichael assisted on Eliot Goldthorp’s last-second goal in Hofstra’s 2-1 season-opening win over Fordham University on Aug. 25.

Carmichael was one of the reasons why the Rough Riders, reached the USL League Two final this past season.

“Getting to the finals was obviously massive,” he said. “Only three other teams have done it in the whole career of the rough riders. it was massive. Looking back the season probably was one of the best I have ever been a part of in my life.

“Obviously, winning played a big part. The team was very close this year, because we’re winning games, so many games. Everybody was friends with everybody. Winning and being around the team for as long as possible made it a great summer for everybody.”

Carmichael teamed with former Hofstra standout Matthew Vowinkel (15 goals) to give the Rough Riders a unique one-two punch. He noted that Vowinkel, who was drafted by FC Cincinnati (Major League Soccer) earlier this year, had 13 goals for Hofstra last fall and that he finished with 15.

“Things are swapped around this year,” Carmichael said of their Riders goal totals. “I know how Matty plays, and he knows how I play. We had a lot of Hofstra boys on the team from the very start.”

The Rough Riders have a history of using talented Hofstra players through the years and their familiarity with one another certainly has helped with the team’s success even before the squad stepped onto the field.

Besides the 5-11, 145-lb. Carmichael, this year’s Riders’ team boasted the likes of goalkeeper Wessel Speel, defenders Mason Tatafu and Pierce Infuso and midfielder Roc Carles Puig from the Pride.

“The last fall and the year before, I could close my eyes and know what they were going to do,” he said. “I got the ball. I didn’t even have to look.”

Due to a leg injury, Carmichael was unavailable to play in the League Two final on Aug. 6. Long Island dropped a 2-1 decision.

“He’s a difference maker,” Rough Riders head coach Tom Bowen said. “If we have him, I think especially with his pace and his ability from running behind, I think that would have caused problems for Ventura. I think he would have been able to expose them to something a little bit different.”

Bowen has seen big things in Carmichael’s future.

“He’s a phenomenal player,” he said. “If he looks after himself and he continues to do what he’s doing, he’s got the ability to be a professional I think he can you know definitely be a future pro.”

Bowen, who is an assistant coach at Iona University (it changed its name from Iona College), is just happy his team won’t have to face Carmichael during the regular season this autumn. Of course, there is always the NCAA Division I tournament.

“Luckily, I don’t know if I’m a good enough coach to come up with something special,” Bowen said. “He’s a great kid. He’s just a guy you love having him around. He’s a real character, super funny.”

And a super goal-scorer, to boot.

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