HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's soccer team begins its 2008 season Friday when they travel to play Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. at 3:00 p.m. The Bobcats enter 2008 following a 9-3-5 record last season that included a 9-0-1 mark in the first ten games.
"We are looking forward to the start of another season," Head Coach Eric Da Costa said. "Our new additions have settled into our system and the veteran players are leading by example. Last season we left a lot on the field at the end and we are coming into this season with a chip on our shoulder."
Finishing What Was Started
Quinnipiac enters 2008 with aspirations of earning a spot in this year's postseason. Leading the way for the Bobcats will be senior captain and 2007 NSCAA/adidas All-American Graciano Brito (Sao Nicolau, Cape Verde). His 12 goals and 27 points were both team highs, while he also tied for the team-lead with three assists.
Leaders of the Pack
Da Costa has named three returners as tri-captains for the 2008 season. Joining Brito will be juniors Freddy Hall (St. George, Bermuda) and Shane Recklet (Shelton, Conn.).
Despite missing the postseason, members of the Bobcats were recognized for their individual performances over the course of the season. In addition to being named to the NSCAA/adidas All-America Second Team, Brito was named the NEC Player of the Year as well as Quinnipiac's Male Athlete of the Year for 2007-08. He was recently named a Preseason All-American and a player to watch for the 2008 Hermann Trophy, given to college soccer's top player.
Hall was solid in goal as he posted the best save percentage (.915) and saves per game (7.38) in the nation and was named the NEC Player of the Week on October 15 after posting two shutouts the previous week. He led the NEC in goals-against average (0.64) and recorded six shutouts in 2007. For his efforts, Hall was named to the All-NEC and the NSCAA/North Atlantic All-Region Second Teams.
Joining the mix this season is a talented group of seven freshman players that will add skill and athleticism to the Bobcats. Brett Uttley (Jamestown, R.I) comes to Quinnipiac following a stellar high school career at North Kingston High School that saw him garner All-American honors his junior and senior seasons. He was also named the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year and the Rhode Island Player of the Year in those seasons as he led his team to an undefeated state championship in 2007. Durval Periera (Cheshire, Conn.) also comes to Quinnipiac with a level of excitement as College Soccer News named him to their "100 Freshman To Keep An Eye On In 2008" list as one of the top newcomers in college soccer this summer. Also joining the Bobcats are freshman forwards Greg Dwyer (Wakefield, R.I.),Sean McGarrity (Cheshire, Conn.), defenders Conor Murphy (Wallingford, Conn.) and Matthew Rothbart (Cheshire, Conn.) and goalkeeper Kyle Moscovics (Cheshire, Conn.).
New Face on the Sidelines
Alex Rincon joins the Bobcats' coaching staff for the 2008 season. Rincon was a one-time professional player overseas and in the U.S. with two Major League Soccer teams and a two-time Division II national champion at Southern Connecticut State University in 1998 and 1999. More recently, he has served as a coach in the Academica Program in Cheshire, Conn., before coming on board to assist Da Costa this season.