October 17, 2007

Men's Soccer Hosts Mount, Monmouth in Crucial NEC Weekend

Oct. 17, 2007

The Set-Up... The Pioneer men's soccer team is set to host a pair of NEC contests tis weekend in Fairfield. SHU welcomes Mount St. Mary's to Campus Field Friday at 3:30 pm and then face Monmouth Sunday at 2:30 pm. Both games will be the second half of a field hockey-men's soccer doubleheader this weekend at Campus Field.

On The Air... Both of this weekend's games can be seen via live videostream on SacredHeartPioneers.com. Friday's game will also be broadcast with live audio on the website. All Pioneer home games will feature GameTracker coverage available from the homepage.

Pioneers Split PA Roadtrip... The Pioneers went 1-1 in their Pennsylvania trip, losing to Robert Morris, 2-0, before earning a 1-0 victory over Saint Francis (PA) Sunday. Junior Luke Gagliardi scored the only goal Sunday.

Last time vs Mount... Steven Cant and Nick Kostov each tallied a goal and an assist to lift Mount St. Mary's past Sacred Heart 2-1 last year at The Mount.

Scouting The Mount... Mount St. Mary's starts the weekend at 3-7-1 and 1-2 in the league, having lost five of their last six games. The Mountaineers have been outscored 21-8 in 11 games. James Zabel leads the Mount attack with four goals for the season. Goaltender Chris Davis has posted a 1.71 goals against average and two shutouts between the pipes for the Mount.

Last Time vs Monmouth... Steven Halloway scored the only goal of the game in the 68th minute as Monmouth beat Sacred Heart, 1-0, in on The Great Lawn last year. The loss eliminated the Pioneers from NEC playoff contention.

Scouting the Hawks... The Hakws begin the weekend tied for first in the league standings with a 8-2-2 record and a 3-0 mark in league play. The Hawks have won four straight games starting play. Damon Wilson and Tom Gray lead the Hawks attack, with five goals apiece. Goaltender Dan Schenkel has the second best goals against average in the league, a 0.57 mark, allowing only six goals in 11 games.

Trifecta Up Front... The Pioneers chances for another run to the playoffs are bolstered by a strong core of returning players on both sides of the ball. Up front, junior Jason Tessitore returns to lead the attack that he has been the focus of the last two years. Tessitiore was an All-Northeast Conference selection as a freshman. In addition to Tessitore, the Pioneers also welcome back another big name up front in the 6-4, 215 pound Jesper Fredriksson. Fredriksson burst on the scene last year as led the team in scoring with six goals and two assists for 14 points. He already has a three goals this year. The final member of the trio is senior Ricarti Mendes who has two goals and three assists on the year, including the game winner against Central Connecticut.

Goalie From Across the Pond... Just as vital to the Pioneer success is their defense, led by junior goalkeeper Matthew Jones Jones. This year he has a 0.78 goals against average, third best in the leagu, and a league leading five shutouts to his credit already. Jones has now allowed just five goals in his last nine games, going 5-3-1 with three shutouts in that span. 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. Although he didn't win any awards, Jones had a solid sophomore year as well. He turned in a 1.43 goals against average with a .726 save percentage. Jones posted seven wins, three of which were shutouts.

Up Next... The Pioneers travel to Brooklyn for a pair of games next weekend. Friday night SHU will take on St. Francis (NY) and then go across town to face LIU on Sunday afternoon.