FAIRFIELD, Conn. - The Sacred Heart men's soccer team came away with six points in its first weekend of Northeast Conference competition at Campus Field last weekend. This week the Pioneers hit the road to take on Mount St. Mary's and Monmouth on Friday and Sunday. Friday's action gets underway with a 4:00 pm kick-off at the Mount. The Hawks, ranked 10th in the NSCAA/hendrickcars.com National Poll, host SHU at 1:00 pm on Sunday.
About the Pioneers... Sacred Heart has run its overall record to 7-2 and opened NEC play 2-0 with a pair of home wins against Long Island and St. Francis (NY) last weekend. The seven wins already equals the team's season-total from a year ago. Currently SHU has won three straight and is a perfect 5-0 when playing at the friendly confines of Campus Field. Sophomores Marcello Castro (Parana, Brazil) and Brian Francolini (Ellington, Conn.) lead the Pioneer attack with three goals and one assist, apiece. Between the pipes, junior Alex Fait (Ottawa, Ont.) holds a 1.17 goals against average and a .725 save percentage.
Last Time Out... The Pioneers took a 2-0 decision from St. Francis (NY) at home on Sunday afternoon. Francolini, assisted by graduate student Patrick Daka (Chingola, Zambia), put Sacred Heart on the board in the 30th minute with his third score of the season. Daka advanced the ball up the right sideline and sent in a cross to Francolini. On a second effort he found the back of the net with the game winner. Freshman Konstantino Dekaneas (Ancaster, Ont.) added some insurance with the first goal of his career coming on a header in the 78th minute. Fait only needed to make two saves in order to earn his second shutout victory of the season.
Scouting the Mountaineers... The Mount comes into Friday afternoon's contest at 4-6 overall and 1-1 in the NEC. Mount St. Mary's began conference action with a 1-0 win over Central Connecticut and a 2-1 loss to Quinnipiac. Junior forward Chris Wheeler leads the way for MSM with a league-leading eight goals through 10 games. Senior midfielder Eric Detzel has collected a team-best five assists and added a pair of goals of his own to the cause. Senior Chris Davis has started eight games in net and has recorded three shutouts.
Scouting the Hawks... Last season, Sacred Heart played MU to a scoreless tie at Campus Field when the Hawks were ranked 10th in the country. Ranked 10th in the nation again, Monmouth enters the weekend 7-1 and 1-0. The Hawks took down CCSU 1-0 on Sunday, following their conference opener at Quinnipiac being postponed due to rain. Senior midfielder Ryan Kinne leads MU in scoring with 13 total points on five goals and three assists. Freshman striker Jacob Rubinstein has added three goals and dished out one assist. In net, senior Bryan Meredith has allowed only five goals, earning a 0.61 GAA, and owns a .844 save percentage. He has pitched four shutouts through the first eight games of the season.