Sept. 20, 2007
The Set-Up... The Pioneer men's soccer team closes out the northern New England portion of its schedule as they travel to visit Maine Friday night at 7:00 pm. The game will be played at Yarmouth High School. SHU enters the game with a 3-3-1 record while Maine comes in with a 1-5 mark, having lost five straight games.
Pioneers Draw at Nike... The Pioneers went 0-1-1 at the Nike Classic last weekend, falling to Vermont and posting a scoreless tie against New Hampshire. SHU came withing 14 seconds of an unbeaten week, falling in the final seconds to Vermont Friday. Goaltender Matt Jones made 23 saves on the week and earned his second shutout of the season while allowing just two goals. Sophomore Jesper Fredriksson and junior Luke Gagliardi were named to all-tournament team for Sacred Heart.
Last time vs Maine... Jason Tessitore scored with 28:08 remaining in the game and the Pioneers hung on to defeat Maine, 1-0, last season at Campus Field. It was the Pioneers first win of the season.
Scouting the Black Bears... Maine is off to a tough start this year, registering a 1-5 record coming into the weekend. The BlackBears have scored only two goals in six games. Alex Rickett and Dmitiri Anastasiou have the two Maine markers. The Blackbears have struggle defensively as well, allowig 16 goals in the first six games. Nemanja Kostic seems to have cemented himself as the number one goalie for Maine, registering a 1.64 goals against average thus far.
Trifecta Up Front... The Pioneers chances for another run to the playoffs are bolstered by a strong core of returning players on both sides of the ball. Up front, junior Jason Tessitore returns to lead the attack that he has been the focus of the last two years. Tessitiore was an All-Northeast Conference selection as a freshman. In addition to Tessitore, the Pioneers also welcome back another big name up front in the 6-4, 215 pound Jesper Fredriksson. Fredriksson burst on the scene last year as led the team in scoring with six goals and two assists for 14 points. He already has a three goals this year. The final member of the trio is senior Ricarti Mendes who has a goal and three assists on the year, including the game winner at Yale.
Goalie From Across the Pond... Just as vital to the Pioneer success is their defense, led by sophomore goalkeeper Matthew Jones Jones. This year he has a 0.91 goals against average and two shutouts to his credit already. Jones has now allowed just two goals in his last four games, going 2-1-1 with two shutouts in that span. Jones had an outstanding freshman year, earning second team All-NEC honors as well as a nod to the NSCAA All-New England Men's Soccer Second Team. Although he didn't win any awards, Jones had a solid sophomore year as well. He turned in a 1.43 goals against average with a .726 save percentage. Jones posted seven wins, three of which were shutouts.
Up Next... The Pioneers will be off for the next two weeks before beginning their Northeast Conference schedule at home against Quinnipiac on October 5th. That game will also be broadcast live on SacredHeartPioneers.com