The Quinnipiac University men's soccer team begins its 2009 season with a game against the Yale Bulldogs on Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m., from Reese Stadium in New Haven. The Bobcats ended the 2008 season with a 10-5-4 mark and qualified for the Northeast Conference Tournament for the first time since the 2004 season. Quinnipiac has won its last two season-opening games, in 2008 against Iona and 2007 against Northeastern.
To The Mix
Last season, juniors Shane Recklet (Shelton, Conn.), Fabricio Silva (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) and Freddy Hall (St. George, Bermuda) were named to the All-NEC Second Team. This season, the three return as senior tri-captains. Recklet and Hall served as captains during the 2008 season, while Silva will assume the role for the first time with the Bobcats.
Recklet, Silva and Hall all return for the senior season, bringing talent and leadership to the team, but Quinnipiac will have the luxury of 13 letter winners returning from last year's team. Seniors Xan Rousselle (Morrisville, Vt.) and Kevin Nunes (Hillsborough, N.J.) join the three captains to make up the group of players in their final season. Dwayne Mars (St. Michael, Barbados), Johan Karlhagen (Gothenburg, Sweden), Dominic Adams (John Dial, Trinidad and Tobago), Nick Pelicaen (Schoten, Belgium), Pierre Soubrier (Aurignac, France) and Tolle Staffanson (Gothenburg, Sweden) comprise the six juniors on this year's squad. The sophomore class is made up of Conor Murphy (Wallingford, Conn.) and Matthew Rothbart (Cheshire, Conn.), while Brett Uttley (Jamestown, R.I.) will play his first season with the Bobcats after redshirting last season.
Head Coach Eric Da Costa has added eight players to the 2009 team. Philip Suprise (Milwaukee, Wis.) highlights a freshman class that includes Carl Stensland (Storrs, Conn.), Tim Quigley (Ridgefield, Conn.), Greg DiGiovine (Cranford, N.J.), Ryan Malki (Chicago, Ill.), George Ellis (Greatham, England), William Cavallo (Londonderry, N.H.) and Marijan Jurac (Greenwich, Conn.).
Hall will take his familiar place in goal for the Bobcats this season after being a member of the conference's second team last year. Senior goalkeeper Rousselle will add depth and experience in goal as he will backup Hall. Ellis, a freshman goalkeeper from England, joins the Bobcats after an impressive career at the Charterhouse.
Joining Recklet in the Bobcats' defensive core will be Murphy, Karlhagen, Soubrier, Rothbart and Staffanson. Freshmen DiGiovine and Cavallo will be the only two first-year players to play in Quinnipiac's backfield, complementing the six returning letter winners.
Middle And Up Front
Pereira, the Bobcats' top-returning forward, begins his sophomore season after finishing second on the team in points in 2008 with 14 on six goals and two assists. Mars, Adams, Silva, Pelicaen and Nunes all return for 2009 and will be joined by Stensland, Suprise, Quigley, Malki and Jurac. Uttley will also add depth to the midfielders.
These two teams met last season at the Quinnipiac Soccer Field. The Bulldogs scored two first-half goals in the 23rd and 34th minutes and held the Bobcats scoreless despite nine shots on goal from Quinnipiac for the 2-0 win.
Da Costa has brought back assistants Alejandro Rincon and Christopher Bart-Williams for 2009. Neil Shaka Hislop joins the staff as the Volunteer Assistant Coach and will work with the goalkeepers as well as other defensive players. Da Costa said of his team's upcoming season, "I'm looking forward to playing outside competition. The training sessions have great, but you never know where you stand until you take on other teams."