HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac men's soccer head coach Eric Da Costa has announced the five members of the Class of 2016 that will join the Bobcats for the 2012 campaign. Defenders Stevenson Hawkey (Pennington, N.J.), Nick Lasweicz (Southbury, Conn.), Justin Kody (Northborough, Mass.) and Erik Panzer (Nelson, New Zealand), as well as goalkeeper Marc Meny (Philipsburg, N.J.) will be set to compete next year for the Quinnipiac squad.
"We needed to address some issues at the back and I wanted to create depth and competition at every position," said head coach Eric Da Costa. "I think we have done that with this group. These guys are young, tough and athletic. If they can make a smooth transition a few of them may challenge for a big role in the squad."
Hawkey comes to Quinnipiac touting an extremely successful senior season at Pennington, finishing as a First-Team New Jersey Prep member, as well as being named to the First-Team All-Area Soccer squad of Central New Jersey. A Robert Young Memorial Award winner for Scholar Athlete this past year, Hawkey helped his team to four-straight New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association championship games. In 2011, Pennington was twice ranked in the top-25 nationally (by NSCAA/adidas). Hawkey's athleticism granted him the opportunity to excel in the sport of lacrosse as well at Pennington, as he earned First-Team New Jersey Prep honors and was a Lawrence Pitt Trophy recipient for outstanding contribution in lacrosse during the 2011 season.
"Steven is a left footed player who has experience playing both as a central and left sided defender," said Da Costa. "He is comfortable with the ball at his feet and has a high soccer IQ. His athleticism and versatility will serve him well"
Lasweicz captained his Pomperaug High School team to the Class LL State Championship this past fall season (scoring two game-winning goals during post-season play), and was the team's second leading scorer with 11 tallies on the year. In 2010, Lasweicz led his team to a South West Conference Championship and was named South West Conference Most Valuable Player during that same year. In addition to his contributions at Pomperaug, Lasweicz plays Club Soccer for SoccerPlusCT.
"Nick is a competitor first and foremost. He has a strong will to win and is a committed defender. His vocal ability is very mature for a young player and his communication skills will be an asset."
Kody took home a handful of all-star selections during his senior season, as he was named a Massachusetts, Central Massachusetts, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Metro-West Daily News and Midland- Wachusett League All-Star. He was also a finalist for the Central Massachusetts Division 1 most valuable player award in 2011 and helped his team to two Central Massachusetts Division 1 Championships, in both 2010 and 2009. A three-year starter at Algonquin Regional High School, Kody earned team captain honors during his senior season. In addition to playing for his high school, Kody also suits up for the Greater Boston Bolts Academy of the USSF Development Academy. An elite athlete, Kody also ran track & field for his high school, as he holds several school records for 600m, 400m and 4x400m races. He was a conference all-star recipient and captained the team during his junior and senior seasons.
"Justin has good size, strength and speed," said Da Costa. "He's a physical defender who is good in the air and has good feet. He plays at a very competitive level with the Bolts and has been around good coaches. Justin is also versatile enough to play anywhere in the back."
Panzer comes across the pond to Quinnipiac with a great deal of experience under his belt, as he was a member of the Nelson Suburbs Mainland Premier League team for the past three years. He captained his Canterbury United National Youth League team, winning National Championship with the squad. Panzer was also the captain of his high school team at Garin College High School, where he was co-president of the school as well as a coach of the freshman soccer team.
"Erik is a composed defender with very good tactical understanding," said Da Costa. "He is comfortable in possession and makes very good decisions. He can play both in the center of the defense or in the midfield. Erik has been playing at a high level and should be able to make a quick transition to our style of play."
Meny looks to bring his talents to Quinnipiac after receiving much national and international attention during his senior season. He was invited to both the Olympic Development Program (ODP) Camp (earning a National Camp First Team selection), and also garnered a First-Team selection at the West Ham United National ID Camp. A four-year starter for his high school squad and a four-time All-Area Honorable Mention, Meny holds the freshman school record with 13 shutouts on the season. He was named Freshman of the Year following his first season on the team, and earned team Most Valuable Player honors during this past senior season.
"Marc will give us depth in goal," said Da Costa. "He is young and still a bit raw. We feel he has the potential to develop quickly as he is extremely athletic and very coachable. He will increase the competitiveness and quality in training and that will make everyone better."
Contact: Ross Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org