Men's Soccer Poised for Playoff Return
New England College men’s soccer looks to continue their success in The Commonwealth Coast Conference (TCCC) after finishing their 2007 season with a program best 8-3-1 conference record. Overall the Pilgrims finished their 2007 campaign with a record of 11-6-1, one win shy of tying the program record for most single season wins. The Pilgrims grabbed the #6 six seed in the top heavy TCCC Playoffs and were shutout in the opening round losing to the #3 seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology Leopards 0-3.
The Pilgrims will have huge shoes to fill losing six players to graduation. They will have to continue their TCCC success without four-year standout Jordan Colonese. TCCC 1st Team All-Conference forward Jordan Colonese finished last season with a team-high 39 points, including 18 goals and three assists. At the midfield position the Pilgrims will have to replace four-year starter James Palumbo. Palumbo finished last season fourth on the team in scoring with a goal and five assists and picked up TCCC 2nd Team All-Conference honors for his performance. The Pilgrims also lost three defensive standouts including TCCC All-Honorable Mention defender Nel Lima, Josh Taylor and keeper Nick Kropelin.
Returning on offense for the Pilgrims will be TCCC All-Honorable Mention forward, senior Dean Smith. Smith (Schwenksville, Pa.) finished second on the team in scoring last season with eight goals and tied for the team lead with five assists. Junior Rob Kennedy (Lynnfield, Mass.) and sophomore Nick Manocchio (Chepachet, R.I.) will also look to make an impact on the offensive side of the ball this season. Kennedy chipped in four goals for the Pilgrims last season and Manocchio led all first-year players with two goals and two assists last season.
At the midfield position the Pilgrims will look to veteran Peter Koskores (N. Andover, Mass.) to lead the way. Koskores anchored the Pilgrim midfield last season starting all 18 games and finishing with a goal and two assists. Also seeing time this season at the midfield position will be junior Ian Coorssen (E. Kingston, N.H.) and senior Drew Warwick (Exeter, N.H.)
On defense the Pilgrims return juniors Scott Ryan (Pelham, N.H.) and Kagan Sinclair (Marblehead, Mass.) Ryan played in 17 games last seasons and finished with a goal and an assist. Sinclair played in 15 games last season and helped hold opponents to just 1.25 goals per game and five shutouts.
The Pilgrims have seven first-year players including junior Joel Booker (W. Sussex, England) and freshman Nick Collard (N. Haven, Conn.) who will see time on defense. Incoming athletes Kwasi Acheampong (Webster, Mass.,) Cody Collard (N. Haven, Conn.) and Bud Marro (Claremont, N.H.) will make an impact at the midfield position.
NEC opens their 2008 season at home taking on Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, August 30 at 1:00 p.m.