Sept. 27, 2011
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The first weekend of Patriot League action has come and gone, and American, Army and Lehigh made early statements heading into the second weekend of play.
Patriot League Men's Soccer Release - 9.27.11
American snapped a five-match skid in a big way, taking down preseason favorite and defending regular-season champion Colgate 3-0 Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital. Eagle senior Matt Makowski earned BRINE Goalkeeper of the Week accolades after making five critical stops against the Raiders to preserve the shutout. He came up big early in the match when American had taken a 1-0 lead, and made several crucial saves early in the second as Colgate pressed for the momentum.
Army opened League play with a victory for the first time since 2000 with a 2-1 win at West Point over visiting Holy Cross. A pair of Black Knights nabbed weekly honors, with Trent Brown capturing the BRINE Offensive Player of the Week nod and Devin Perlee being named the BRINE Rookie of the Week. It marked the first time since 2005 that multiple Army players were honored with League awards.
Lehigh’s stout defense held Bucknell to just four shots on goal, and senior defender Jordie Ciuffetelli made a pair of giant saves along the goal line before setting up Kevin Strunk’s game-winner in double overtime as the Mountain Hawks nipped two-time defending League champion Bucknell 1-0 in Lewisburg. Ciuffetelli was named the BRINE Defensive Player of the Week and garnered a spot on the College Soccer News National Team of the Week for his efforts. Despite the loss to open Patriot League play, the Bison can look back to just last year for some consolation. Bucknell lost 3-1 to American on the opening weekend of League play and still wound up as the last team standing at the League Tournament at the end of the season.
Lafayette and Navy picked up a point when the two finished Saturday’s match in a scoreless draw in Easton. The Mids snapped an eight-match losing streak to the Leopards and picked up their first point in the series since 2002.
Three teams will step out of League play Tuesday. American begins the day at 3 p.m. when it hosts Virginia Tech in Washington, D.C. Two matches are scheduled for 7 p.m., when Navy entertains Longwood and Holy Cross plays host to Northeastern.
Week No. 2 of the League schedule is slated for Saturday with several important matches on the docket. Lafayette visits Holy Cross at 3 p.m. in a match pitting two teams that are seeking their first League wins. Bucknell hosts American at 7 p.m., with the Eagles looking to move to 2-0-0 while the Bison will look to avoid dropping their second consecutive League match. Another big showdown is set for 7 p.m. when Lehigh welcomes Colgate to Bethlehem. Academy rivals Army and Navy will contest their perennial battle at 7:30 p.m. at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis.
Patriot League Weekly Awards
BRINE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
TRENT BROWN, ARMY Jr., F, La Crosse, Wis.
Brown recorded points in a pair of Army victories last week. He started by logging the assist on the game-winning goal by Devin Perlee in the Black Knights’ 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Bryant. Brown’s big week continued on the first day of League play, as he scored his team’s first goal of the game and assisted on the game-winner as Army defeated Holy Cross 2-1 at West Point Saturday night. Brown is Army’s first Offensive Player of the Week since Garrett Dresel during the 2007 season, and his efforts lifted the Black Knights to their first 1-0-0 start in League play in 11 years.
BRINE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JORDIE CIUFFETELLI, LEHIGH Sr., D, Unionville, Pa.
Ciuffetelli was the star of Saturday’s defensive struggle between League rivals Bucknell and Lehigh. He made his way onto the score sheet with the assist on Kevin Strunk’s game-winning double-overtime marker in the 106th minute that lifted the Mountain Hawks to a 1-0 victory over the Bison in Lewisburg. But the match might not have gotten that far had it not been for Ciuffetelli’s two defensive saves when he cleared a ball off the goal line. The first came in the first half, while the second was in double overtime, shortly before Strunk headed in the game-winner. Ciuffetelli garnered national honors as well Monday when he was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week.
BRINE GOALKEEPER OF THE WEEK
MATT MAKOWSKI, AMERICAN Sr., GK, Quakertown, Pa.
Makowski recorded his first shutout of the season at just the right time, making five saves in American’s League play-opening 3-0 victory over defending regular-season champion Colgate in Washington, D.C. After Seth Goldman’s goal put the Eagles up 1-0, Makowski went to work starting with a critical save in the 15th minute to stop Jimmy McLaughlin on an open-field chance. Early in the second half after the Eagles made it 2-0, Makowski stopped back-to-back opportunities by Mike Reidy and James Byer to maintain the lead.
BRINE ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
DEVIN PERLEE, ARMY Fr., M, South Orange, N.J.
Perlee had been held without a goal over his team’s first seven matches, but that changed in a hurry when he singlehandedly rallied Army to a 2-1 victory at Bryant last week. Perlee tied the match in the 79th minute when he headed a Kyle Golonski feed into the upper-right corner of the net for his first collegiate goal. He then upped himself by scoring the game-winner 8:17 later when he fired a Trent Brown feed into the net to cap off the thrilling road victory. Perlee was held scoreless against Holy Cross but logged two of his team’s six shots on goal in the 2-1 League win over the Crusaders. Perlee is Army’s first Rookie of the Week since Michael Leach at the end of the 2007 season.
AARON DUPERE, NAVY So., GK, Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
Dupere went 1-0-1 last week in net for the Mids, making six saves in a midweek 2-1 victory at Richmond before stopping a pair in a scoreless draw shutout at Lafayette. He recorded his 100th career stop in the win versus the Spiders.
GRAHAM HEYDT, LAFAYETTE Sr., GK, Northbrook, Ill.
Heydt made eight saves to preserve a 0-0 draw with visiting Navy in the Patriot League opener for both teams Saturday in Easton. It was his third shutout of the season and the fourth for the Leopards.
KEVIN STRUNK, LEHIGH Sr., D, Downingtown, Pa.
Strunk, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and the preseason choice for the award this season, showed his offensive prowess as well when he scored the game-winner in double overtime as Lehigh edged Bucknell 1-0 in Lewisburg in the Patriot League opener.
SETH GOLDMAN, AMERICAN Jr., F, Fairfax, Va.
Goldman’s tally early in the first half set the tone for American as it eventually went on for a 3-0 victory over Colgate in the Patriot League opener for both teams. Goldman scored in traffic off a sliding header after a corner kick to put the Eagles up 1-0.
Patriot League Notebook
DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE
Lehigh’s defense has been its driving force so far in 2011, with Saturday’s 1-0 double-overtime win at Bucknell in the Patriot League opener serving as an appropriate microcosm. The Mountain Hawks have shut out six opponents this season, and the numbers speaking for themselves on a national level. As a team, Lehigh sits second in the country with a 0.22 goals-against average, second with a team save percentage of 0.95 and second with a 0.75 shutout percentage. Sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Nugent is entirely responsible for those first two statistics, which also places him second in the country in both categories. Close behind is Lehigh Valley-rival Lafayette, which stands seventh in the nation in team GAA (0.46) while goalkeeper Graham Heydt is sixth individually with a 0.466 GAA.
UP TO FIVE
Five Patriot League squads found themselves in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Mid-Atlantic rankings when the poll was released Monday. Lehigh moved up to the No. 3 spot following a 1-0-1 week with a draw against La Salle and the win over Bucknell. Colgate fell one spot to fourth, with Bucknell (fifth) and Lafayette (sixth) also occupying spots. Moving into the poll this week as well was Navy, which appeared at No. 8 after a 1-0-1 stretch.
WHAT’S THE MAGIC NUMBER?
2011 marks the fifth season in which the Patriot League standings will utilize points to determine the placements from top to bottom. In the first three years since the practice was instituted in 2007, teams had needed to achieve at least 12 points in order to finish in the League’s top four to earn a spot in the League Tournament. The one exception was 2009, when Lafayette, Colgate and Holy Cross were mired in a three-way tie at 12 points and a tiebreaker had to be used to determine the Leopards were into the four-team playoff. Last season marked the first time teams qualified for the tournament with fewer than 12 points, as American and Bucknell both made it with 11. Teams are awarded three points for a League win and one for a draw.
BURGDORF, STRUNK AIM TO REPEAT...
Two of the Patriot League’s top men’s soccer players were predicted to repeat their stellar showings from a year ago when Bucknell junior Brendan Burgdorf and Lehigh senior Kevin Strunk were voted the Patriot League Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, before the start of the regular season. Burgdorf is the reigning Offensive Player of the Year, while Strunk capped off his 2010 season with the Defensive Player of the Year honor. Burgdorf has been one of Bucknell’s and the Patriot League’s offensive forces the last two seasons, and he has two League championships to show for it. Strunk is a defensive stalwart for the Mountain Hawks, who reached the League Tournament last season as the No. 2 seed.
...WHILE GARNERING OTHER HONORS TOO
In addition to their preseason recognition from the League’s head coaches and sports information directors, Burgdorf and Strunk were named to the Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List before the start of the season. The award recognizes the best men’s and women’s soccer players in Division I and is presented and voted on by members of the National Soccer Coaches Association (NSCAA) after the conclusion of the season.
MAKOWSKI, MILLER UP FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
American goalkeeper Matt Makowski and Colgate midfielder Steven Miller were two of 30 preseason candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award in men’s soccer, it was announced about two weeks before the season started. Makowski, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2008 and a Second-Team All-League performer and the Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s soccer last season, was near the top of the League in several statistical categories in 2010 and carries a 3.94 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in biology. Miller is one of the League’s top returning offensive players, as he finished last season tied for fourth with 12 points (5g, 2a). A two-time All-Patriot League Second-Team honoree, Miller was recently named one of the Top 100 professional prospects on Joe’s Big Board on TopDrawerSoccer.com. The list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the season, with a nationwide vote of coaches, fans and media determining the winner.