Fall Sports Preview

Andrew McDermott

Men’s Soccer
Senior midfielder Graciano Brito has a lot to be happy about. The Bobcats are off to a 2-0-1 start, looking to match their NEC best of 9-0-1 in 2007. Brito has received plenty of recognition for his play last year. He made the All-Conference team, All-Region team, Second Team All-American team and was featured in the 2007 Sports Illustrated Magazine’s “Faces in the Crowd”. Coming into this season, Brito was picked as a contender for the Herman Trophy, the top award available for a NCAA soccer player. Through three games this season, Brito has scored five of the teams eight goals and continues to show his dominance and leadership on and off the field.
In addition to Brito, the Bobcats have junior goalkeeper Freddie Hall. Hall has an amazing record in goal. Last season, he led the nation in save percentage, saves per game and led the Bobcats en route to having the lowest goals against average across the nation. Coming into the season, Hall was picked as one of the top five goalkeepers in the nation. Through three games, Hall has allowed two goals, and the Bobacts are tied in first place in the Northeast Conference (NEC).
This season, the Bobcats look a little different on the field. They lost All-Conference forward Danilo Schiavon, who graduated this past May. However, the program may have found an answer for their loss. Last year, Durval Pereira signed with the Bobcats. He is a very talented forward, and was named in the College Soccer News’ “100 Freshman to Keep an Eye on In 2008.”
Last season, the Bobcats fell short and missed the NEC tournament by one game. Coming into this season, the Bobcats were picked to finish in fourth place in the coaches’ preseason poll. However, they look to do better. In the NEC, the teams with the top four conference records advance into the NEC tournament. The winner of the NEC tournament advances into the NCAA tournament. It is a competitive conference, but it is very possible that on November 10, the Bobcats will be atop the conference.
The Bobcats’ next home game is on Tuesday, September 23 vs. the Yale Bulldogs at 4:00 pm.

Women’s Soccer
The Bobcats are looking to turn things around after ending the 2007 season with a 1-5-2 record in their last eight games. They had an amazing start to last season, winning eight of their first ten games, but couldn’t keep that rhythm going.
Last year, the Bobcats had two all conference players, Susan Donovan and Sara Lawlor. They lost senior goalkeeper Chloe Beizer, who posted a 0.76 goals against average and had seven shutouts throughout the season. They also lost Lawlor, who is redshirting this season after having a team best of seven goals last year.
This season, the Lady Bobcats are off to a 2-1-0 start. The team will be led by junior midfielder Justine Lombardi, graduate defender Kate Ahearn, freshman goalkeeper Jillian Kelley and freshman forward Furtuna Velaj. As of Saturday September 13th, Velaj has scored all three goals for the Bobcats. This year, coaches voted in the preseason poll, and the Bobcats were predicted to come in fourth place. It is feasible, but they will have to put up a good fight if they want to win it all. By coming in fourth place, they will advance into the NEC tournament, where records do not matter-it is win or go home.
The Bobcats’ next home game is Sunday, September 21st at 12:00 pm vs. the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders.
Field Hockey
After a 4-13-0 2007 season, the Bobcats look to recover and develop their rookie star players. However, they are off to a rough start. As of Friday September 12th, the Bobcats are 0-4, having only scored one goal. The team lost three top five scorers from last season. However, with eight talented freshmen, five of whom are expected to start by season’s end, there could be a different game face on these Bobcats when NEC play starts.
In addition to the freshman, the Bobcats will be anchored by senior goalkeeper Jenna Grossman, sophomore midfielder Megan McCreedy, senior midfielder Megan Sciascia, and senior midfielder Lauren Hartnett. Grossman, Sciascia and Hartnett are the tri-captains for the team this season. Also returning is junior midfielder Christine Grady, who led the team in goals scored and points last season. In the coaches poll, the Bobcats are expected to finish second in the NEC and qualify for the NEC tournament.
The team’s next home game is today at 3:30 pm vs. the Fairfield Stags.

The Bobcat volleyball team this season is a very young team, with seven freshman and four upperclassmen. After finishing in 2007 with a 1-29 record, they are envisioning to rebuild the team this season.
On Friday August 29th, the team opened their season by hosting the Quinnipiac Invitational where the Bobcats snapped a 25 game losing streak. This year, they were voted to finish in seventh place in the conference, an improvement of two places from last season.
The Bobcats are being led by seniors Crista Valentino, Erin Overdevest, Jenna Benigno, and junior Kristen Corinaldesi.
The team’s next home game is Wednesday, September 24 at 7:00 pm vs. the Iona Gaels.

Men’s Cross Country
The reigning conference champions are back in action. The Bobcats lost Jacob Grizler, the NEC’s top performer, in the off season, but look to continue their success from 2006 and 2007.
Tyler Dinnen, an All-Conference runner, is returning and looking to hold the Bobcats up this season. Also returning is head coach Ed O’Connor, who received the Coach of the Year Award. The Bobcats were picked to win the conference for a third straight season in the preseason coaches poll. So far this season, the Bobcats have run in two meets. In their meet at the Fordham Invitational, the Bobcats came in second place with 96 points.
The Bobcats’ home meet this season is on Saturday, September 27, with a start time of 11:00 am.

Women’s Cross Country
Another season gone by, another conference championship for the Bobcats. For the third straight season, the Women’s Cross Country team won the conference championship in 2007. And with no surprise, the Bobcats were picked to win the conference championship this year in the preseason coaches’ poll. Yet, the team is still expected to prevail. Returning to hold up the team are All-Conference runners senior Chelsea Bollerman and junior Lindsey Pierret. Also returning for the Bobcats is sophomore Kelly Sorrell. Two-time NEC top performer Kristen Stevens is red-shirting this season.
The team has competed in two meets so far this season. At the Fordham Invitational, the Bobcats came in second place with a score of 79 points.
The Bobcats’ home meet this season is on Saturday, September 27, with a start time of 11:45 am.