MSOC Opens Postseason on Thursday
Courtesy: Seton Hall Athletic Communications
VILLANOVA SERIES HISTORY
• Seton Hall leads the all-time series with Villanova 18-10-0.
• Villanova won the last meeting with Seton Hall, 3-0, on Oct. 1, 2011, in South Orange.
• This season marked the first time since 2002 that Seton Hall and Villanova did not face one another during the regular season.
• Seton Hall has faced Villanova in the BIG EAST Tournament just once, picking up a 4-0 win over the Wildcats in the 1991 BIG EAST semifinals.
CHANGE OF DATE
Because of the unfortunate circumstance as a result of Hurricane Sandy, the BIG EAST Men's Soccer First Round match between Villanova and Seton Hall has been pushed back a day and will now be played on Thursday, Nov. 1. The match is still scheduled to be played at Villanova at 2 p.m.
BACK TO BIG EAST
By finishing fifth in the BIG EAST Blue Division, the Seton Hall men's soccer team qualified for the BIG EAST Tournament for the first time since 2007. It is the 22nd BIG EAST Tournament appearance in program history. The Pirates picked up wins over Providence College (2-1) and the University of Pittsburgh (4-1) during the regular season.
ALL-TIME IN THE BIG EAST
Seton Hall is 14-13-6 all-time in the BIG EAST Tournament and has won four BIG EAST Championships in program history (1986, 1987, 1988, 1991).
PIRATES IN BIG EAST OPENERS
Seton Hall is 6-10-5 all-time in its first game of the BIG EAST Championship. The Pirates are 0-2-3 in their last five tournament openers and Seton Hall's last victory in an opening match was a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh in the first round in 2000. SHU last advanced past the first round via a 0-0 tie at Notre Dame where the Pirates advanced on penalty kicks.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Michael Kuzan made eight saves in Seton Hall's 1-0 loss at No. 6 Georgetown on Oct. 27, but most impressively made saves on two penalty kick, one in each half.
The Seton Hall men's soccer team ended the regular season with one of the toughest stretches of games the program has ever seen. Starting with their match against No. 7 Notre Dame on Oct. 13, the Pirates began a string of five-straight games against teams ranked in the NSCAA top-10. Seton Hall has never faced ranked opponents in five-straight games before, and especially not opponents ranks so high in the national polls. SHU's other four matches to end the regular season were against No. 4 Connecticut, No. 5 Marquette and two games with No. 6 Georgetown.
BACK TO BACK
In an odd bit of scheduling the Seton Hall men's soccer team closed the 2012 regular season with back-to-back games against Georgetown. It is the first time in the modern era that the Pirates played the same opponent in consecutive games and the first time Seton Hall has done so since playing Little Creek Naval twice in a row in 1960.
During halftime of its home finale against Georgetown the Seton Hall men's soccer team recognized its pair of seniors who were playing at Owen T. Carroll Field for the last time in their careers, goalkeeper Michael Kuzan and midfielder Adriano Gabriele.
BIG EAST BALLER
Junior forward George Velasquez scored his fourth goal during BIG EAST action when the Pirates faced Notre Dame on Oct. 3. In eight conference games he had four goals and two assists for 10 points. In BIG EAST play he is tied for sixth in the league in points (10) and is tied for fifth in goals scored (4).
SETTING THE TABLE
Sophomore midfielder Konrad Plewa recorded his team-leading fourth assist in Seton Hall's match with Notre Dame on Oct. 14.
COMING OUT PARTY
Junior forward George Velasquez turned in an impressive week for the Pirates, pouring in three goals with two assists in a pair of BIG EAST wins. He scored his first goal of the season and assisted another in Seton Hall's 2-1 win over Providence. He followed that up with a two goal, one assist performance in a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. He finished the week with eight points after entering the Providence game with five points in his career.
BIG EAST HONOR ROLL
Junior forward George Velasquez earned a spot on the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Oct. 8, after leading the Pirates to a pair of wins over Providence (2-1) and Pittsburgh (4-1) the week before. He finished the week with three goals and two assists for eight points, tallying a pair of game-winning scores, the first two of his career. He also had a career-high five points (two goals, one assist) in the win over Pittsburgh, which is the best single-game total for any Seton Hall offensive player this season.
The Seton Hall offense registered its fastest goal to start a game this season in back-to-back contests against Providence and Pittsburgh. Junior Christian Battistesa scored just 5:10 into the action in a 2-1 win over Providence, and junior George Velasquez struck with 4:05 gone in SHU's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. Seton Hall is 4-1 this season when it scores first.
A PAIR OF FIRSTS
Junior forward John Gurel and junior defender Chris Garcia each recorded the first points of their careers in Seton Hall's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh on Oct. 6. Gurel came in as a reserve and scored his first-career goal in the 41st minute against the Panthers, while Garcia made a crossing pass that eventually found Max Garcia in the 25th minute.
HECK OF A HALF
Seton Hall poured in four goals in the first half in its 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. The four goals in a single half represented the most for Seton Hall since it scored four in the second half of a 4-1 win over VCU Sept. 7, 2008, and the four goals in a game represented the most since the last time the Panthers made a visit to South Orange, a 4-0 SHU win on Oct. 2, 2010.
Seton Hall head coach Gerson Echeverry dialed up a change to his team's starting lineup against Providence on Oct. 3, and the switch ended up paying huge dividends for the Pirates. Junior Christian Battistesa moved up to the outside-mid position after starting the first nine games of the year on defense, and sophomore Kai Greene assumed Battistesa's starting spot on the back line. Battistesa had a goal and an assist in the two games after the switch, while Greene helped anchor an SHU defense that allowed just two goals in two games against Providence and Pittsburgh.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Michael Kuzan averaged 13.5 saves per game in a pair of matches against Delaware and Syracuse. He stopped a then career-high 13 shots at Delaware on Sept. 18, then topped that with 14 saves at Syracuse on Sept. 22. Allowing just one goal per game with 27 total saves, Kuzan earned BIG EAST Conference Goalkeeper of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
KEEP ‘EM COMING
Just a day after being named the BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week, redshirt senior goalkeeper Michael Kuzan received another award, as he was named the BigAppleSoccer.com Goalkeeper of the Week. He led Seton Hall to a 1-1 week with a road victory at Delaware where he made 13 saves, and a 1-0 loss at Syracuse as he stopped 14 shots.
Junior forward Max Garcia was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Sept. 17, for a second time this season. He scored the game-winner in the Pirates' 1-0 win over No. 19 Monmouth to garner the conference accolade.
SHU UPSETS NO. 19 MONMOUTH
Seton Hall University picked up its first win over a ranked opponent this season with a 1-0 victory over No. 19 Monmouth on Sept. 14. Junior Max Garcia scored the game-winner in the 18th minute and Seton Hall's defense limited the Hawks to just two shots on goal.
LEADING BY EXAMPLE
Junior forward Max Garcia is one of the Pirates' two team captains for 2012 and has been one of the team's statistical leaders as well. He ranks in the top-10 in the conference in four statistical categories.
BONDER SHUTS OUT NO. 19 HAWKS
Junior keeper Kevin Bonder stopped both shots he faced to record a 1-0 shutout over No. 19 Monmouth on Sept. 19. The clean sheet was his first of the season and third of his career. He is ninth in the BIG EAST with 3.57 saves per game.
BATTISTESA GETS ON THE SCOREBOARD
Junior defender Christian Battistesa found the back of the net for the first time in his career as he scored a first-half goal in Seton Hall's 2-1 win at Delaware on Sept. 19.
Junior forward John Gurel and freshman midfielder Eric Lagg were both named to the Old Dominion Stihl Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team. Gurel started both games at forward for Seton Hall, firing a shot against No. 15 Old Dominion and Lagg started both games at midfield for Seton Hall.
GARCIA REACHES DOUBLE FIGURES
By converting a penalty kick against Virginia Commonwealth on Sept. 9, SHU junior Max Garcia scored the 10th goal of his career. Garcia led the Pirates in scoring last season and leads The Hall once again this year with six goals and three assists for 15 points.
MAX GARCIA HONORED
Junior forward Max Garcia was named to the BIG EAST Conference Weekly Honor Roll on Monday, Sept. 3, marking the first time this season and the second time in his career he has received the honor. Garcia scored goals against Army and Princeton to land on the conference Honor Roll.
Seton Hall played its first overtime game of the year against Rider on Sept. 3, and the Pirates ended up with a positive result, winning 2-1 just 44 seconds into the extra period. Sophomore midfielder Andrew LoManto headed in the game-winner, the first of his career. It was the Pirates' first overtime win since a 2-1 victory over Boston University on Sept. 9, 2012.
Freshman midfielder Eric Lagg made the first start of his career against Rider on Sept, 3, and he made an immediate impact, scoring the first goal of his career in the 45th minute.
ECHEVERRY ERA BEGINS
The season opener against Saint Peter's University marked the beginning of a new era for Seton Hall soccer under first-year head coach Gerson Echeverry. Echeverry was hired this winter after long-time head coach Manfred Schellscheidt announced his retirement after 24 years roaming the sidelines.
• Echeverry played at Seton hall from 1991-94, winning BIG EAST Tournament Most Outstanding Player honors in 1991.
• Echeverry was the top assistant coach at Seton Hall for five seasons (2003-07).
• Over the last three seasons Echeverry was an assistant coach for the USSF U17 men's national team.
First year head coach Gerson Echeverry notched the first win of his coaching career with a 2-0 victory over Army on Aug. 27. The win was the 452nd in Seton Hall men's soccer history.
GREENE SCORES FIRST GOAL OF THE YEAR
Seton Hall's first goal of the 2012 season went to sophomore midfielder Kai Greene, who headed in a corner kick in the 25th minute against Saint Peter's University on Aug. 24.
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN
Senior midfielder Adriano Gabriele scored the game-winning goal against Army off a penalty kick in the Pirates' 2-0 win over the Black Knights on Aug. 27. If the sight looked familiar it is because Gabriele scored the game-winner against Army last year too, also with a penalty kick. He has two game-winning scores in his career.
SHU SCORES A RARE PAIR
Seton Hall defeated Army, 2-0, on Aug. 27, behind a pair of corner kicks from senior Adriano Gabriele and junior Max Garcia. It is the first time since 2007 that the Pirates converted two penalty kicks in the same game. Eliseo Giusfredi scored twice via PK in a 6-2 win over Pennsylvania on Sept. 3, 2007.
KUZAN PICKS UP SHUTOUT
Redshirt-senior Michael Kuzan earned his first shutout of the season and the second of his career in SHU's 2-0 win over Army on Aug. 27. He turned away four shots to post a clean sheet and record his first shutout since 2010.
COACHING STAFF ADDITIONS
New head coach Gerson Echeverry made two additions to his coaching staff for the 2012 season. Vincent Marcotrigiano will serve as the Pirates' full-time assistant coach will Guillermo Valencia has come on board to work with SHU's goalkeepers. Marcotrigiano played collegiately at George Mason University before enjoying a six-year professional career. Valencia has coached at the youth, club, collegiate and national level, and played professionally for 16 years.
2012 TEAM CAPTAINS
Seton Hall features two captains for this year's team in junior forward Max Garcia and sophomore defender Mateusz Brela.
BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
Seton Hall was picked to finish in sixth place in the Blue Division in the 2012 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Pirates went 5-11-2 overall last season and 1-8 in the BIG EAST. They picked up 27 points to finish sixth in the poll. SHU returns 20 letterwinners and six of its top seven scorers from a year ago.
KLJESTAN INTO HALL OF FAME
Former Seton Hall men's soccer standout Sacha Kljestan was inducted into the Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame in a ceremony held Monday, June 11, at the Fairmount Country Club in Chatham, N.J. Kljestan led the Pirates to three-straight NCAA Tournament berths from 2003-05. He was a two-time All-American and still holds the program's single-season assists record at 15.
CLASS OF 2016
Head coach Gerson Echeverry and the men's soccer program brought in six freshman this offseason to make up the Class of 2016. Joining the Pirates on the field this fall will be forward Danny Bartok (Union, N.J.), midfielder Lucas Della Ventura (Brookline, Mass.), midfielder Eric Lagg (Lafayette, N.J.), defender Pasquale Suriano (Lebanon, N.J.), defender Julian Kennedy (Nindorf, Germany) and defender Chris Hall (Bridgewater, N.J.).