Men's Soccer Closes Out The Regular Season This Weekend

Game 16: Sacred Heart (8-7-0, 4-4-0 NEC) at Mount St. Mary's (4-11-0, 2-6-0 NEC)
WHEN: Fri, Nov. 2, 2012, 4 p.m.
WHERE: Waldron Family Stadium/Emmitsburg, Md.

SERIES INFORMATION: Sacred Heart leads 5-4-4
LAST MEETING: Sacred Heart (1-0) 10-14-11
FIRST MEETING: Mount (2-1) 9-24-99
LAST MOUNT WIN: (2-1) 10-27-06
IN EMMITSBURG: Series Tied 2-2-2

opening kick... Friday's final home game of the season between Mount St. Mary's and Sacred Heart marks the 14th meeting in the all-time series dating back to the 1999 season. After the Mount started the series 4-0-4, the Pioneers have won the last five matchups to grab a 5-4-4 edge in the series. Sacred Heart has won the last three tilts by a score of 1-0 while the Mountaineers last win in the matchup was a 2-1 decision in 2006.

about the pioneers... Sacred Heart comes into the contest 8-7-0 overall and 4-4-0 in Northeast Conference play after defeating St. Francis (N.Y.) 3-1 on Sunday. Senior D Marcello Castro leads the team with seven goals and two assists for 16 points. Freshman M Mahmoud Kafel is second on the team with three goals and one assist for seven points while junior D Omer Levy is third on the squad with three tallies for six points. Freshman GK Tucker Hackett has 29 saves, a 1.38 goals against average and a .690 save percentage.

last time we met… Sacred Heart scored in the 33rd minute to down Mount St. Mary's 1-0 on Oct. 14, 2011. Peter Steve made six saves for the Mount while Chris Wheeler registered three shots in the loss. Brian Francolini posted the Pioneers' goal at 32:58 when he found the twine off a rebound. Alex Fait made one save in the winning effort.

Game 17: Mount St. Mary's (4-11-0, 2-6-0 NEC) at Saint Francis (Pa.) (5-7-4, 3-3-2 NEC)
WHEN: Sun, Nov. 4, 2012, 1 p.m.
WHERE: Stokes Soccerplex/Loretto, Pa.

SERIES INFORMATION: Mount leads 11-8-3
LAST MEETING: Tied (0-0) 10-28-11
FIRST MEETING: Mount (4-0) 9-16-89
LAST MOUNT WIN: (1-0) 10-23-09
LAST SAINT FRANCIS (PA.) WIN: (1-0) 11-1-10
IN LORETTO: Mount leads 6-4-2

opening kick...
Sunday's regular season finale between Mount St. Mary's and Saint Francis (Pa.) marks the 23rd meeting in the all-time series dating back to the 1989 season. The Mount leads the series 11-8-3, including a 2-1-1 mark in the last four matches. The two teams ended in a scoreless standstill last year in Emmitsburg. Prior to last year's meeting, the previous three matchups we decided by the score of 1-0 with the Red Flash winning in 2010 and the Mountaineers taking the matches in 2008 and 2009.

about the red flash... Saint Francis (Pa.), who battles LIU Brooklyn on Friday, comes into the weekend 5-7-4 overall and 3-3-2 in Northeast Conference play after falling 2-0 to Quinnipiac on Sunday. Junior M Nick Kolarac leads the team with three goals and two assists for eight points. Senior F Wayne Tiller ranks second on the squad with a goal and two assists for four points while freshman F/M Pedro Machado is third with one tally and one helper for three points. Senior GK Daniel Valcicak has 72 saves, a 0.82 goals against average and a .847 save percentage.

last time we met… Mount St. Mary's concluded its 2011 home schedule with a scoreless draw against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Oct. 28, 2011. Peter Steve made two saves for the Mount while Chris Wheeler had a team-high five shots in the match. Darius Motazed made three saves for the Red Flash on the night.

last time out… Dillon Johnson scored a pair of goals to lead Mount St. Mary's past Robert Morris 2-0 on Oct. 26. Johnson notched his first two collegiate goals in the match. The freshman gave the Mount a 1-0 lead when he found the twine unassisted at 42:03. He then sealed the win off a feeder from Koudzo Komlan at the 86:31 mark. Peter Steve made seven saves for the Mountaineers in the winning effort.

next on tap… This weekend concludes the Mount's men's soccer season.

spoiler alert… While the Mountaineers have been eliminated from postseason contention, Mount St. Mary's can play spoiler in its final two matches. Sacred Heart and St. Francis (N.Y.) are currently tied for the final playoff spot with 12 points while Saint Francis (Pa.) is one point behind with 11 points. With a win or even a draw, the Mount could help keep either the Pioneers or Red Flash out of the postseason.

johnson honored… Dillon Johnson has been named the Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week for the week of Oct. 22-28. Johnson posted both goals of the Mount's 2-0 win against Robert Morris on Friday after scoring a tally in the final five minutes in each half. The freshman notched his first collegiate tally unassisted at the 42:03 mark to give the Mountaineers the lead for good. Johnson then sealed the victory when he took a pass from Koudzo Komlan and found the back of the net at the 86:31 mark. Johnson becomes the 10th player to earn NEC Rookie of the Week recognition in program history and the first since sophomore Zoncher Dennis (Swarthmore, Pa./Swarthmore) took home the honor four times last season. Chris Wheeler (2008), Eric Detzel (2007), Neill Ouska (2006), Steve Cant (2004), Mark Murphy (2002), Matt Moneymaker (2000), Brian Crum (1998) and Brian Holden (1998) have also been recognized by the league as the Rookie of the Week dating back to the 1997 season.

in the league... The Mount is 81-97-28 in Northeast Conference matches. The Mountaineers are 43-59-16 under head coach Rob Ryerson in the NEC and 8-3-2 in the conference opener. The Mount's loss to St. Francis (N.Y.) in the league opener in 2012 marks the squad first NEC opening loss in the last five years.

johnson and johnson… Freshman Dillon Johnson notched his first two collegiate goals against Robert Morris on Oct. 26. It was the fourth time this season a Mount player found the twine for the first time in their career.

jagger brings the boom in his final season… Senior Will Jagger scored his first collegiate goal in the match against Fairleigh Dickinson on Oct. 7.

steele's on the board… Sophomore Matthew Steele scored his first goal of the season in the 1-0 win against Howard on Sept. 18. It was the sophomore's second career goal after he notched his first collegiate goal last season at home against La Salle.

wheeler scores first career goal… The Wheeler name has been known to find the back of the net with Chris Wheeler owning the Mount's Division I record for career goals. Junior Patrick Wheeler, playing in his first season without his brother, notched his first career goal in the season opener against Towson on Aug. 28. Patrick Wheeler had seven career assists in his first two years at the Mount.

plaisance a scoring player… Sophomore Mark Plaisance has posted a goal and an assist in his first two games after not recording a point as a freshman. The sophomore dished out an assist on Patrick Wheeler's goal in the season opener on Aug. 28 and then found the twine for the first time in his career against VMI on Aug. 31. Plaisance leads the team with three goals and one assist for seven points.

preseason poll... The Mount St. Mary's men's soccer team has been tabbed sixth in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Preseason Coaches Poll. Monmouth, the defending NEC Tournament champions, received seven first-place votes to be selected as the preseason favorite. Fairleigh Dickinson picked up two first-place nods to rank second in the poll while Saint Francis (Pa.) took the final first-place vote to place third. Sacred Heart rounded out the top-4 while St. Francis (N.Y), the Mount, Central Connecticut State, Quinnipiac, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris and Bryant round out the 11-team poll. Bryant will be eligible for the NEC Tournament for the first time in team history after completing the five-year Division I transition last year.

zonked by dennis… Sophomore Zoncher Dennis burst onto the pitch last season to pace the NEC in goals (11), goals per game (0.69), points (23), points per game (1.44) and game-winning goals (6) while ranking ninth in shots per game (2.19). He became the sixth player in Mount Division I history to reach double digits for goals and his 11 tallies rank fifth on the Mount Division I single-season chart. Dennis tied a single-game program record when he scored four times against LaSalle on Sept. 24. He was named the NEC Rookie of the Year and nabbed a spot on the All-NEC first team. Dennis was recognized nationally by being named to the College Soccer News All-Freshman first team. The sophomore has three goals this season and now has 14 career goals to rank eighth on the program's Division I goal list. Dennis will move into the No. 7 spot on the Mount's Division I list with three goals.

local rivalries... The Mount once again will have a local flavor to its schedule. The Mountaineers opened the season at home against Towson (L, 1-2 ot) and hosted UMBC (L, 0-1) while traveling to Howard (W, 1-0).

new to the mountain... Head coach Rob Ryerson has added three new players to his 2011 squad. Dillon Johnson, Cy McNeill and Paul Curlings each joined the team for the 2012 season.

players from down under... Junior Patrick Wheeler (Newcastle, Australia) continues the rein of players from Australia. Chris Davis, the first Australian born player in Emmitsburg, graduated in May 2011 and Patrick's brother Chris graduated from the Mount in May 2012.

foreign flavor... Along with Patrick Wheeler, who hails from Australia, senior Will Jagger (England), junior Koudzo Komlan (Togo) and sophomore Zoncher Dennis (Ivory Coast) also came to the Mount from abroad.    

the family continues to grow... Head coach Rob Ryerseon has coached six of the nine brother combos in Mount men's soccer history. Senior Alex Ockford and junior Jimmy Ockford will play together for the third-straight season. In 2011, the brothers of Dom and Joshua De Aragao joined the squad to become the ninth set of brothers to play men's soccer at the Mount.

home sweet home emmitsburg... Under head coach Rob Ryerson, Mount St. Mary's is 45-36-4 at home, including 6-1-0 in 2011, 4-2-1 in 2000 (Ryerson's first season) and 5-1 in 2003.

waldron family stadium... Mount St. Mary's is 26-22-3 at the Waldron Family Stadium. The squad moved into the state-of-the-art 1,000-seat Waldron Family Stadium for a full season in 2007. The Mount played three games in the venue in 2006, posting a 2-1 record. The Mountaineers lost their inaugural match at the stadium to Monmouth 3-0 on Oct. 15, 2006 before ending the season with wins against Sacred Heart (2-1) and Northeast Conference Tournament bound Fairleigh Dickinson (1-0 2OT).

friday night lights... Mount St. Mary's played its first two night games at Waldron Family Stadium in 2009 and has posted a 6-3-1 mark under the lights. The Mount defeated VMI 1-0 and Robert Morris 2-0 under the lights this season.

about the coach... Head coach Rob Ryerson is entering his 13th season at the helm of the men's soccer team at the Mount, posting a career record of 75-123-25. He has led the Mount to a 43-59-16 mark in NEC regular season games. Ryerson was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year after guiding the Mountaineers to a 9-10-1 overall mark and a 5-4 record in league play and the squad's first NEC Tournament appearance since 1999 in the 2008 campaign.