SOMERSET, N.J. (August 17, 2010) – The Sacred Heart University men's soccer team was picked to finish sixth in the Northeast Conference in the Coaches' Preseason Poll released by the NEC this afternoon. The Pioneers finished last season 4-5-1, good enough for sixth in the 11 team conference.
SHU finished 7-8-2 overall last season and finished six points shy of the final playoff spot in the conference. A year ago the Pioneers played to a scoreless draw with Monmouth, last season's regular season and tournament champion. The Hawks were selected by the conference's coaches to repeat as the top team in the conference with 10 first place votes. Quinnipiac received the only other first place vote in the poll.
Freshman midfielder Marcello Castro (Parana, Brazil) returns as the team's highest scorer after finding the back of the net three times as a rookie. Classmate Brian Francolini (Ellington, Conn.) will look to build on a freshman season that produced two goals and an assist in 15 starts. Senior midfielders Lusiano Dadario (East Haven, Conn.) and Mario Mililli (Shelton, Conn.) will serve as the captains for head coach Joe Barroso's squad.
Junior goalkeeper Alex Fait (Ottawa, Ont.) will return to the net, where he played every minute for the Pioneers last season. In 17 starts, he allowed just 16 goals for a 0.90 goals against average, good for third in the NEC. Fait made 95 saves throughout the season and recorded 6 shutouts
Sacred Heart opens its season at home on Wednesday September 1 against Holy Cross on Campus Field at 7:30 pm.