Blue Hens Men’s Soccer Team Begins CAA Title Defense with 2012 Season Opener at UMass on Friday
August 23, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – Defending Colonial Athletic Association champions, University of Delaware men’s soccer program, begins their title defense by traveling to Amherst, Mass. and tackle the University of Massachusetts on Friday, August 24 at 1 p.m.
Head coach Ian Hennessy, now in his sixth season as the men’s soccer head coach at Delaware, will welcome back 11 letterwinners from last year’s team that posted a program-best 13-6-4 record, CAA Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round for the first time in program history.
A total of eight starters and over 50 percent of last year’s scoring output return for the Blue Hens, who were picked No. 3 in the CAA Pre-Season Coaches Poll announced last week.
“We are excited after two weeks of preseason being over,” said Hennessy. “The players are very excited to play on Friday against UMass, there is only so much you can do with the group while practicing with each other.”
Leading the Blue Hens is a pair of pre-season All-CAA selections in junior forward Roberto Gimenez and junior Vicente Mediate. Gimenez, the reigning CAA Rookie of the Year, is the Blue Hens’ leading scorer with 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) returning to the starting lineup. Mediate, the 2011 CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player collected four goals and three assists a year ago.
“They have been two great additions to the squad,” Hennessy said about Gimenez and Mediate. “Roberto is going to draw a whole lot more attention than he did last year. Of all the midfielders that can chime in and add to his goal tally will be Mediate,” Hennessy expressed. “Gimenez and Mediate are a seasoned group playing every minute almost in the NCAA’s and the CAA Tournament; the leadership, the experience and stability they bring is something we will benefit from this season.”
Also leading the unit are a quartet of defensemen; junior John Dineen, Mark Garrity, Prince Nartey and sophomore Ignacio Martin. Other returning starters include senior midfielder Ben Raymond and sophomore midfielder Kyle Nuel. Sophomore Jay Lupas along with senior Brandon Paul and redshirt freshman Bill Boyer will compete in goal.
UMass, a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, went a 4-13-2 a year ago. The Minutemen lost to Ohio State in the semifinals of 2007 College Cup.
“Head Coach Sam Koch did one of the best coaching efforts ever by taking UMass to the NCAA Final Four a few years ago,” said Hennessy. “The Minutemen are a very energetic team that on Friday will look to close space and defend well,” he added. “With the style of play that UMass plays, our opportunities might be limited so we are going to have to be sharp. They are definitely a team that can do damage and looking to avenge last year’s 3-0 loss.”
Following Friday’s game, the Hens will travel to Durham, N.C. to tackle North Carolina State on Aug. 31 and Duke on Sept. 2 in addition to participating in the University of Pittsburgh Tournament Sept. 7 vs. Duquesne and Sept. 9 at Pittsburgh.
Delaware begins its home schedule on Wednesday, September 12 when Delaware squares off against the U.S. Naval Academy at 7 p.m. at the Delaware Mini-Stadium. Admission is free.Back To Men's Soccer Home Men's Soccer Story Archive