HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac men’s soccer team was selected to finish seventh in the 2011 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as announced by the league on Wednesday, Aug. 17. The Bobcats, who finished the 2010 season 4-11-2 overall (3-6-1 NEC), return 12 players from last season. Top-scorer and assistant captain, junior Philip Suprise (Milwaukee, Wis.), who finished the 2010 campaign with five goals and one assist, has led the Bobcats in goals scored and overall points in each of the last two seasons.
Monmouth was picked to “three-peat”, gaining 10 first-place votes, followed by Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart and Saint Francis (Pa.), with one first-place vote, to round-out the top four. Long Island and Mount St. Mary’s were tied for fifth while Quinnipiac, Robert Morris and St. Francis (N.Y.) tied for seventh. Central Connecticut State and Bryant rounded out the 11-team poll.
2011 NEC Men's Soccer Preseason Coaches Poll (First Place Votes)
1. Monmouth (10)
2. Fairleigh Dickinson
3. Sacred Heart
4. Saint Francis (Pa.) (1)
5. Long Island
Mount St. Mary's
St. Francis (N.Y.)
10. Central Connecticut State
Senior captain Durval Pereira returns up front to play alongside Suprise, as the Cheshire, Conn. native looks to regain his form following a season-ending injury in 2010 which occurred in the team’s opening match. For his career, Pereira has eight goals and six assists. Junior forward William Daniels (Clackamas, Ore.), who finished tied for fourth on the squad with seven points (three goals, one assist) in 2010, will provide additional support up front for the Bobcats.
A trio of seniors, Brett Uttley (Jamestown, R.I.) Matthew Rothbart (Cheshire, Conn.) and William Cavallo (Londonderry, N.H.) will look to provide stability for the Bobcats in the middle of the pitch.
Assistant captain Brandon Strain-Goode (Toronto, Ontario) will lead the Bobcats from the back, as the sophomore logged the most minutes (1577) on the team in 2010, playing in every minute of action. Junior defender Greg DiGiovine (Cranford, N.J.), who played the second-most minutes of any Quinnipiac player in 2010, is the other returning starter on defense for the Bobcats. Protecting the net for the Bobcats is junior Josh Lavallee (Upland, Calif.), who started in 11 of the team’s 17 games last season.
The Bobcats begin their season with a home contest on Monday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m. against Providence. Quinnipiac will then head out on the road for a three-game stretch, beginning with a matchup against Boston College on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 4 p.m. The Bobcats then face Vermont on Monday, Sept. 5 at 1 p.m. followed by a visit to Yale on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.
Quinnipiac begins a three-game home stand with a game against Hartford on Wednesday, Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. The Bobcats then host Loyola (Md.) on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. followed by their first NEC game of the season against Bryant on Friday, Sept. 30 at 3 p.m.
The Bobcats travel to NJIT on Sunday, Oct. 2 to play their last remaining non-conference game of the season. Quinnipiac then hosts St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday, Oct. 7 at 4 p.m., followed by a matchup against Robert Morris on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m. Quinnipiac then begins its longest stretch of road contests, beginning with Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3 p.m., followed by Monmouth on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., Mount St. Mary’s on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. and Central Connecticut on Friday, Oct. 28 at 3 p.m.
Quinnipiac hosts Long Island on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 3 p.m. before visiting Sacred Heart on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The Bobcats will play their final regular-season on their home field when they host St. Francis (N.Y.) on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m.