Sept. 4, 2008
Setting the Scene... The Sacred Heart men's soccer team opens its home schedule, welcoming Maine to Campus Field Friday afternoon at 4:00 pm. SHU will also host Holy Cross on Tuesday at 4:00 pm.
Scouting the Black Bears... Maine split its first two games of the season, topping Adelphi after falling to Rhode Island last weekend at New Hampshire. The Black Bears are led by senior captain Dmitri Anastasiou. Anastasiou has seen action in 49 career games the past three years, making 41 starts. He was one of just two players to start all 17 games a year ago. Anastasiou has six goals for 12 career points. He led Maine in scoring a year ago with four goals for eight points.
Scouting the Crusaders... Prior to its game against Providence on Friday, Holy Cross split their first two matches of the season, beating UMass and before falling to Central Connecticut. Holy Cross returns 22 players from last year including eight starters. The Crusaders also welcome six newcomers to the program. Seniors Andreas Andrews, Jerry Dickinson and Alejandro Melean are the 2008 team tri-captains.
Last Time Out... Matt Marcin scored the only goal of the game in the 56th minute and Providence held Sacred Heart to just three shots enroute to a 1-0 win in season opening men's soccer action Friday afternoon in Rhode Island.
Stalwart in the Cage... Since his arrival on campus, goaltender Matt Jones has been arguably the most outstanding goaltender in the Northeast Conference and one of the best in the region. Jones had an outstanding freshman year, earning second team All-NEC honors as well as a nod to the NSCAA All-New England Men's Soccer Second Team. After a solid sophomore season, he returned to his All-Star form last year, earning First Team All-NEC and Third Team All-Region Honors. Jones finished the season tied for second in the league with seven shutouts. He was also fourth in the conference in save percentage (.833) and goals against average (0.91).
Deep on D... In front of Jones the Pioneers return a defensive squad that includes three seniors. Team captain Jonatan Allback is joined by classmates Anthony Anzevui and David Backman. The trio has anchored the SHU backline for the last three years, becoming one of the top defensive units in the league. Backman was a First Team All-NEC selection last season.
Power Up Front... A quartet of high-powered offensive players return for the Pioneers as well. Perhaps the best scorer in SHU's short Division I history, Jason Tessitore is ready for his final season in the red and white. Tessitore, A first team All-NEC selection as a freshman, led the team in goals last year, finding the back of the net seven times. He has led the team in scoring. Joining him on the forward line will be 6-4, 215 pound junior Jesper Fredriksson . After bursting on the scene as a freshman, Fredriksson will try to bounce back from an injury-plagued sophomore season this year.
New Faces... Five new faces will join the Pioneer squad this year and several of them could make an immediate impact. On defense Aaron Keily is expected to join the veteran defensive starters as the fourth back, while Jonathan DeFelice will compete for time in the backfield as well. Joining the midfield ranks are two transfers, Filipe Celikkaya and Denis Brunotte while Luca Condotta joins the front line for Sacred Heart.
Up Next... The Pioneers hit the road for three straight games starting next Friday, September 12th at Adelphi. SHU also will visit Iona and Yale during the road trip.