Princeton at Seton Hall
Gametime: Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
2012 Records: Princeton (0-0), Seton Hall (1-1)
Series Began: 1986
Series Record: Seton Hall leads 11-10-5
Series Streak: Princeton won last four
Last Meeting: Princeton won 7-3 (10/4/11) (click for box score)
PRINCETON, N.J. (8/29/11) - The Princeton men's soccer team opens the 2012 campaign facing in-state rival Seton Hall in North Jersey on Friday, Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.
The Pirates are the first of five straight BIG EAST teams that the Tigers will face, as St. John's, Rutgers, Georgetown and Villanova await in the next few weeks.
The game will be web streamed on GoPrincetonTigers.tv for subscribers, and fans can follow live stats free of charge.
Princeton took a 7-3 game from Seton Hall last year. The seven goals marked Princeton's highest single-game goal total in 16 years. The Pirates have a one-game lead over the Tigers in the all-time series, 11-10-5. It's been Princeton that has had the upper hand lately, winning each of the last four games.
Princeton returns 19 letterwinners and bring in nine newcomers. The Tigers have nearly their entire starting 11 back in place, with a gap left by 2010 Ivy League Player of the Year Antoine Hoppenot and midfielder Colby Hahn.
Princeton has a strong back line led by captain and first-team All-Ivy selection Mark Linnville at center back. He is joined on his right by sophomore Chris Benedict. The pair have started in every game in their careers. Senior David Dubow and sophomore Andrew Mills also return on defense. The Tigers have a strong midfield corps with junior Patrick O'Neil with the most experience. He's started in nearly every game in the last two years. Sophomores Julian Griggs and Myles McGinley earned their places on the field last year. Griggs was named Honorable Mention All-Ivy League after scoring three goals in 11 games, while McGinley had three helpers in 16 games. Also back is junior Lester Nare, who took a leave of absence from Princeton last year. He was a solid contributor in 2010 when the Tigers made their second consecutive NCAA appearance with nine points on three goals and assists apiece. Scoring production could be in the hands of senior All-Ivy Leaguer Matt Sanner and sophomore Cameron Porter. Sanner led the team in scoring last year with seven goals, four of which were game winners. Porter scored five times and chipped in two assists.
A number of other veteran players have played considerable time and will be fighting for a starting position, including junior midfielder Dylan Bowman who played in 12 games last year and made nine starts to score twice. Sophomore midfielder Joe Saitta made 15 appearances and six starts in 2011 and had an assist. Sophomores defender Andrew Mills sophomore midfielder Alex Wetterman both made eight starts and played in at least 10 games each. There are seven freshmen and two sophomores that are new to the team and will vie for playing time as well.
Seton Hall is 1-1 on the season under first-year head coach Gerson Echeverry, who replaces long-time Pirates coach Manfred Schellscheidt. Friday's game will be the Pirates third of four straight home games, as they've posted a 3-1 loss to St. Peter's and a 2-0 win over Army. Junior striker Max Garcia leads the team in scoring with three points on one goal and one assist. Midfielders Kai Greene and Adriano Gabriele have also scored once each. Junior middie Jon Gruel has taken the most shots, 10 total, but hasn't picked up a point, while sophomore middie Konrad Plewa has had the best chances with all three shots being on target. The Pirates have utilizes both senior Michael Kuzan and junior Kevin Bonder in goal. Kuzan earned the win against Army making four saves in the shutout, while Bonder made four stops and allowed three in the match versus St. Peter's. A couple notes on the team statistically: two of the team's three goals have come via penalty kicks, as the team is 2-2 on PKs; they've out shot their opponent 31-19 and but put 41.9% of those shots on frame.