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2013 Men's Soccer MAAC Championship Preview

Courtesy: Manhattan Athletic Department
Release: 11/15/2013
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Tournament Notes

2013 Men's Soccer MAAC Championship

Who: #1 Monmouth Hawks (8-6-4, 7-1-2 MAAC) vs. #4 Manhattan Jaspers (5-10-2, 5-3-2 MAAC); #2 Quinnipiac Bobcats (9-4-5, 7-1-2 MAAC) vs. #3 Iona Gaels (10-6-2, 7-2-1 MAAC)

When: Semifinal #1 - Fri., Nov. 15 at 4 p.m.; Semifinal #2 - Fri., Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

Where: Lessing Field at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn.

Live Video:

Live Stats: (Courtesy of the MAAC)

MAAC Championship Tickets on sale now (Nov. 15-17)

Manhattan MAAC Championship Preview - Manhattan enters the MAAC tournament as a top four team for just the fifth time in program history. The Jaspers did not clinch a spot in the playoffs until the final day of the regular season as they defeated Niagara 3-0 to clinch the fourth seed. That victory gave the team 14 points and ensured them a top-4 spot for the first time since the 2001 season. In 2013, freshman Daniel Laguna Kennedy has paced the Manhattan offense with seven goals while Eugene Heerschap is second on the team in goals (4) and points (8). Junior co-captain Tommy Amos is tops on the squad in assists with four while Alex Shackley has added two goals and two assists. Freshman Alex Coates McDowall has started every game in net for the Jaspers, posting four shutouts while owning an 0.97 goals against average in conference play. Manhattan battled to a 0-0 draw against Monmouth at home during the regular season while falling 2-0 to both Quinnipiac and Iona.

Monmouth MAAC Championship Preview - Monmouth clinched the regular season title, and number one seed, in just their first season in the MAAC. The preseason favorites in the league joined the conference after dominating the Northeast Conference for the past decade winning five NEC tournament titles. The Hawks had a nine match unbeaten streak snapped in their final contest of the regular season with a 1-0 double overtime loss at Canisius. Jacob Rubinstein paces the offense with four goals and nine points while Dave Nigro and Francois Navarro each have seven points on the year. Freshman goalkeeper Eric Klenofsky started every game in MAAC play, earning seven shutouts with a 0.27 goals against average. He was helped tremendously by MAAC Defensive Player of the Year Matt Jeffery.

Quinnipiac MAAC Championship Preview - Quinnipiac earned a share of the regular season crown by defeating Rider 1-0 in double overtime on the final game of the season. It was the third straight double OT game the Bobcats played to end the year, drawing 0-0 with Saint Peter’s and defeating Siena 2-1 in their other two. After posting a 9-4-5 overall record (7-1-2 MAAC), Quinnipiac enters the postseason as the two seed due to a 1-0 home loss to Monmouth. Simon Hinde leads the offense with 19 points including a team high nine goals. The MAAC Goalkeeper of the Year, Boria Angoita has played almost every minute in net for the Bobcats with an .845 save percentage and seven shutouts.

Iona MAAC Championship Preview - Iona enters tournament play on a five match win streak, including a 2-0 win over Manhattan in their season finale on Nov. 6. The Gaels finished the year with a 10-6-2 overall mark and a 7-2-1 conference record. The team was also 7-1-0 at home this year with their only loss coming to Delaware on Sept. 25. Iona’s offense is paced by the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year in Franklin Castellanos who ranks second in the country in assists (13) and fourth in points (31). Ignacio Maganto is tied with Castellanos for the team high in goals with nine  while freshman goalkeeper Julian Petrello has record six shutouts in 2013 and boasts an .822 save percentage.

2013 MAAC Honorees

Manhattan saw four Jaspers earn All-MAAC recognition for the 2013 season, led by MAAC Anaconda Sports Coach of the Year Jorden Scott. Scott led the team to its first four-team playoff in 12 seasons in just his first year as head coach.

Junior midfielder Tommy Amos was named to the All-MAAC Second Team along with freshman forward Daniel Laguna Kennedy. The striker also earned a spot on the 2013 All-MAAC Rookie Team along with freshman back Andrew Melitsanopoulos.

The Jaspers also had nine players named to MAAC All-Academic Team. Seniors Daniel Festa, Samuel Howard, Christopher Lands were named to the squad along with juniors Reese Akers, Eugene Heerschap, Jake Scavetta, sophomores Tylor Borgeson, Robert Maffei and Alex Shackley. To qualify for the MAAC All-Academic team, a student-athlete must hold a cumulative grade point average of 3.20. Manhattan’s nine members ranked third in the MAAC this year.

Manhattan in the MAAC Tournament
This marks just the fifth time in program history that the Jaspers have qualified as a top-4 team in the MAAC and the first since 2001. They also competed in the four 10-team tournament that took place in Orlando, Fla. in 1999, 2003, 2007 & 2011. The Jaspers are 4-9 all-time in the MAAC tournament. Listed below are the previous years and results for the Jaspers in MAAC Tournament history:

1990 (0-1): Lost to La Salle in the semifinals

1992 (0-2): Lost to Fairfield in the semi’s; lost to Iona in consolation

1994 (1-1): Beat Siena in semi’s (SO 3-2), lost to Loyola in finals (4-0)

1999 (1-1): Beat Marist in Q’finals, lost to Fairfield in semifinals

2001 (0-1): Lost to Loyola in semifinals

2003 (0-1): Lost to Rider in first round

2007 (0-1): Lost to Niagara in first round

2011 (2-1): Beat Loyola in Q’finals, beat Iona in semi’s, lost to Fairfield in final (3-1)

When It Matters Most
The Manhattan men’s soccer team proved it can win when it matters most this season. After enduring a winless non-conference schedule, the Jaspers posted five victories in MAAC play. Those five wins were coupled with a pair of scoreless draws and highlighted by a season ending triumph over Niagara that clinched a spot in the MAAC tournament. 

Revival in Riverdale
It wasn’t long ago that the Jaspers men’s soccer program was an afterthought in the mind of most collegiate soccer fans. In 2010, after enduring a winless season, Manhattan was ranked 203rd out of a possible 203 teams in the NCAA RPI rankings. This season, Manhattan has the fifth highest RPI in the MAAC behind only Fairfield, Monmouth, Quinnipiac and Iona.

On the Pitch and In the Class
Manhattan Senior Daniel Festa has proved to be exemplary leader both on and off the field for the Jaspers this season. Along with being named as a co-captain in 2013, he has played in all 17 games with 16 starts. His only goal of the year was the game-winner, on Senior Day, against Niagara that clinched a spot in the MAAC Tournament, while his two assists ranks second on the team.

Festa has also showcased his skills in the classroom, boasting a 3.93 grade point average as a double major in Finance and Economics. A three-time MAAC All-Academic team member, he was recently named to the CoSIDA District I All-Academic Team and is a nominee for the CoSIDA Academic All-American team.

Instant Results
The 2013 Jaspers have been a display of youth in the MAAC. A total of seven freshmen have seen significant playing time and have made an immediate impact on the program. Daniel Laguna Kennedy leads the team with seven goals and is two shy of tying the program mark for a rookie. Alex Coates McDowall has started every game in net while recording four shutouts, one shy of cracking the single-season top-5. Meanwhile, Eli Bunton and Dominic Chavez have accounted for five points (1 goal, 3 assists) this season. Timmy O'Driscoll and Dean Habeeb have also seen quality playing time.

Old Faces, New Places
The 2013 Manhattan Men’s Soccer team has two members that are in different roles than the previous three seasons.

First year head coach Jorden Scott is no stranger to Riverdale. After spending three years as an assistant, Scott was named the eighth head coach in Manhattan history in December of 2012. A native of Scotland, he helped to recruit every member of the Jaspers roster and was part of the coaching staff on the 2011 team that reached the MAAC Championship game.

After enduring a horrific injury in the offseason, three-year standout Erick Montinard was relegated to a more managerial role this year. The senior from Hainesport, N.J. helped the program with film as well as game preparation and the daily events of the program. Thanks to a 3-0 lead over Niagara, Montinard was able to play one last time in a Jasper uniform, logging three minutes on the field in his final appearance at Gaelic Park.

Senior Superlatives
The seven graduating seniors for Manhattan have joined an elite club in program history. Daniel Festa, Carlo Giachino, Samuel Howard, Stefano Carlacci, Sean Towey, Erick Montinard and Christopher Lands become just the fifth senior class to compete in five MAAC Tournaments.

They join the senior classes from 1993 (’90 & ’92), 1995 (’92 & ’94), 2002 (’99 & ’01), and 2004 (’01 & ’03). This group took part in the 2011 MAAC Championships held in Orlando, Fla. Helping the team reach the title game for just the second time in program history.

When It Rains, It Pours
Of the Jaspers five wins this season, only one ended with a 1-0 score. Each of Manhattan’s four other victories the team is averaging over three goals per game, including a season high five goals in their 5-2 triumph over Fairfield on October 9.

Within those wins, Manhattan has seen two multi-goal games from freshman Daniel Laguna Kennedy while Tommy Amos registered four points in a win over Niagara. Andrew Melitsanopoulos added two goals in a victory over Marist as well.

Closing in on History
As the 2013 regular season comes to a close, a number of Jaspers are on the verge of seeing their names forever etched in the program’s history books:

Alex Coates McDowall has recorded four shutouts in his rookie season. If he earns one more clean slate this year he will tie Andy Hlusko (1981) for fifth most in a single season. He is also two shutouts away from entering the top-5 all-time.

Daniel Laguna Kennedy currently has seven goals on the season, the most since Fernando Londono scored eight in the 2008 season. The freshman is two shy of Manhattan’s rookie record of nine, set by Walter Kotchin in 2002.

Tommy Amos’ eight career assists is fifth all-time in Manhattan history. Brian Kenney (1986-88) is fourth with nine while Dan Harm (1997-99) sits third with 10 helpers. Jasper Hall of Famer Bo Kucyna (1977-80) holds the program record with 34. 


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