NEC Player of the Week
Borja Angoitia, Quinnipiac
6-2, 185 lbs
So., GK, Bilbao, Spain/Erandio and Wasilla
Quinnipiac’s Borja Angoitia combined for 11 saves and one assist as the Bobcats went 2-0-0 over the weekend and punched their ticket to the 2012 NEC Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament. The second-year netminder allowed just one goal in the two games against the Western Pennsylvania contingent of the NEC, surrendering a penalty kick strike in a 3-1 win over Robert Morris. Angoitia opened the weekend with a 2-0 shutout of Saint Francis (PA), his fourth blanking of the season. He made six of his 11 stops against the Red Flash and picked up his first career assist on a long boot to Machel Baker, who made it a 2-0 game at the time. The Bilbao, Spain native then posted five saves, including a point-blank stop in the 65th minute, in the win over RMU, a victory that clinched the Bobcats’ first playoff appearance since 2009.
NEC Rookie of the Week
Dillon Johnson, Mount St. Mary’s
5-7, 165 lbs
Fr., F, Commack, NY/Northport
Mount St. Mary’s rookie Dillon Johnson got on the scoresheet for the first time in his young career in Emmitsburg, netting both goals in a 2-0 victory over Robert Morris. His first career goal, an unassisted strike that proved to be the eventual game-winner, broke a scoreless tie in the 42nd minute, while his second career marker gave the Mountaineers some extra insurance in the 86th minute. He now has two goals and four points to his 2012 resume.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: With just one weekend remaining in the regular season, several teams will be battling it out for the fourth and final spot in the 2012 NEC Men’s Soccer Championship Tournament. Quinnipiac, Fairleigh Dickinson and Monmouth are already in the four-team, championship tournament, set to begin on Friday, Nov. 9 at a site to be determined. However, with a handful teams within striking distance, it could get very crazy this weekend. Of all the teams, Sacred Heart controls its own destiny needing two wins to clinch the final spot outright.
LISSEK AND LEARN: Fairleigh Dickinson can tell you a thing or two about pitching a scoreless game this season. Currently, the Knights have posted five straight shutouts and six in their last seven games overall. The last team to blank an opponent in five straight games was the 2009 Monmouth squad that posted eight straight shutouts during a season in which they advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Looking at FDU’s accomplishment even closer, they have not given up a goal in 536 minutes worth of action. Senior Jacob Lissek has been the driving force during this streak. Last week’s NEC Player of the Week, he owns all eight shutouts this season and has 19 for his career, just three shy of becoming the all-time leader at FDU.
LEAVING HIS MARK: Sacred Heart senior Marcello Castro, the 2011 NEC Player and Defensive Player of the Year, scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season on Sunday and now 21 for his career. Along with ranking third in the NEC, he is sitting fifth all-time at Sacred Heart and second in program history at the Division I level.
BOBCATS UNLEASHED: Talk about getting hot at the right time. Quinnipiac has won its last four games in impressive fashion, allowing just one goal during that span, and is looking to make some noise in the 2012 NEC playoffs. Head coach Eric Da Costa and his squad clinched their first playoff berth in three years thanks to a 3-1 victory over Robert Morris. QU can even host the tournament with two wins this season.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: The 2012 Central Connecticut squad has a chance to accomplish something no other CCSU team has done before since joining the NEC. With two wins this weekend, the Blue Devils can become the first team in their NEC era to win 10 or more games. CCSU is rolling right now too, winning its last three games since suffering a setback to Fairleigh Dickinson, 2-0.
LET’S RANK ‘EM: Five teams remained ranked in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division I North Atlantic Region Poll. The week 10 edition featured Monmouth, Fairleigh Dickinson, Quinnipiac, Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart. The Hawks ranked second following their 1-1-0 weekend. FDU came in right behind them, sitting in fourth place. Quinnipiac, after back-to-back wins that stretched its winning streak to four games, took the No. 6 spot, while Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart occupied spots 7-8, respectively. Niagara remained the top-ranked team with an 11-1-4 record, highlighting four MAAC teams in the rankings.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES OF THE WEEK
REECE WILSON (CENTRAL CONNECTICUT) Wilson scored his eighth goal of the season in a win over the Blackbirds, 2-1. He has now scored in three straight games, giving him 22 points on the season.
RYAN CLARK (MONMOUTH) Clark scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win over LIU Brooklyn after assisting on the game-tying goal in a setback at St. Francis (NY), capping off a three-point weekend. He is now second on the team in points with 12.
ERIK PANZER (QUINNIPIAC) Panzer broke the ice when he found the back of the net in just the 7th minute of play at Robert Morris, a 3-1 win in favor of the Bobcats.
MARCELLO CASTRO (SACRED HEART) Castro scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season to make it a 1-1 game against St. Francis (NY). He then assisted on the game-winning goal to send the Pioneers past the Terriers in a key NEC contest, keeping the Pioneers in the mix for the fourth and final playoff spot.
MAHMOUD KAFEL (SACRED HEART) Kafel netted the game-winning goal in the Pioneers’ 3-1 victory over St. Francis (NY). He struck paydirt in the 59th minute, capping off a three-goal rally.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"It is great to clinch a spot in this season’s NEC Tournament,” FDU Head Coach Seth Roland said. “Bryant is an extremely well-coached, tough and competative opponent. We each had a few chances to score, and although we would have liked to knock one in, we are happy to continue our shutout streak.”