NEW LONDON, Conn. – The No. 14 Connecticut College men's soccer team will be among eight schools competing in the NESCAC Championship Tournament beginning this weekend.
The Camels, who have a perfect 8-0 record at home, will look to capture their first league title in program history and are also positioned to clinch an NCAA Tournament berth for the third straight year. The team earned the third seed and will host sixth-seeded Middlebury on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 12:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the semifinal round at the site of the highest remaining seed the following weekend. The winner of the NESCAC championship match on Sunday, Nov. 10 will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Tournament.
Connecticut College (10-3-2, NESCAC 6-2-2) has relied on a more potent attack this season while still possessing a strong back line which protects one of the top goalkeepers in the country. Sophomore Augie Djerdjaj (Mahopac, N.Y.) has emerged as the team's top scoring threat, having recorded 20 points on eight goals and four assists, while classmate Steve Yeonas (McLean, Va.) has been additional threat up top with five goals and five helpers to date. Senior Matt Butera (Westfield, Mass.) has a team-leading six helpers.
Defensively, senior captain Freddy Stokes (Westhampton, Mass.), junior captain Liam Donelan (Milton, Mass.), sophomore Luke Stoneback (Commerce, Mich.), and senior Anthony Aquadro (Northampton, Mass.) make up a back line which has blanked eight opponents and been nearly impenetrable lately. Junior AJ Marcucci (West Chester, Pa.), who was recognized as the NESCAC Player of the Year and the nation's top Division III goalkeeper by two national organizations last season, boasts an 0.51 goals against average to go along with an .879 save percentage and five clean sheets.
Middlebury (7-2-6, NESCAC 3-2-5) has been a defensive-first team this season which has surrendered a league-low nine goals in 15 matches so far. Michael McFarlane and Aidan Robinson headline a back line that has only allowed multiple goals once in a 2-1 overtime setback against Tufts, while freshman goalkeeper Ryan Grady has an 0.65 goals against average to go along with an .877 save percentage. Drew Goulart and Brandon Reid pace an offense which has scored 25 times with nine points apiece.
The two teams will be meeting in a quarterfinal matchup on Freeman Field for the second time in three seasons after Middlebury won the most recent meeting by a 2-1 score earlier this season in Vermont. The Panthers' game-winning marker was scored on a penalty kick in overtime. Admission to the event is free.
Links to live stats and video for all games are available via the NESCAC Scoreboard at NESCAC.com. Results from the NESCAC Quarterfinal games will be posted on NESCAC.com at the end of Saturday. Also, follow the action on Twitter (@NESCAC).
2019 NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship
Quarterfinals - Saturday, November 2 at Higher Seeds
No. 8 Wesleyan at No. 1 Amherst - 12:30 p.m.
No. 7 Hamilton at No. 2 Tufts – 2:00 p.m.
No. 6 Middlebury at No. 3 Conn. College - 12:30 p.m.
No. 5 Bates at No. 4 Williams – 11:00 a.m.
Semifinals - Saturday, November 9 at Highest Remaining Seed
Lowest Remaining Seed vs. Highest Remaining Seed – 11:00 a.m.
Other Quarterfinal winners - 1:30 p.m.
Championship - Sunday, November 10 at Semifinals Host
Semifinal winners – 12:00 p.m.