The 2009 soccer seasons seem promising in the wake of nationally recognized recruits joining the Hall. The men’s and women’s soccer teams ended their seasons at 6-8-4 (2-5-4) and 5-11-2 (1-9-1) respectively and are looking for the chance to compete in the Big East Tournament and beyond this year.
The men’s season came to a close last October with a 2-5-4 in-conference record and no bid to the conference tournament.
Head coach Manny Schellscheidt will be entering his 24th season this fall at the helm of the men’s program, and he brings with him three freshmen recruits to get Seton Hall back on track.
Midfielder Brian Pereira from Elizabeth High School joins the team after a senior year with 13 goals and 11 assists. He played a significant role in getting his team into the Union County and Section II Championships.
Pereira earned plenty of recognitions last fall, coming to Seton Hall as last year’s Union County Player of the Year and a member of the All-State Second Team.
Jack Freeman, a defender from Ridgewood, was a Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League Division B First Team selection last season.
He was also given a Second Team spot from the Bergen County Coaches Association and was a Third Team All-Bergen County choice by The Star-Ledger.
The other recruit, Adriano Gabriele, a midfielder of West Islip, NY, led his high school to the Nassau-Suffolk Catholic High School Athletics Association semifinals and was named league MVP.
He has been awarded recognitions that include ESPN Rise Boys’ Soccer Third Team All-American, and NSCAA/Adidas High School Boys All-Region II team after a season featuring 19 goals and 26 assists.
The Pirates will add the freshmen onto a roster where most players are just entering their upperclassmen years. Leading the way is junior Brayan Martinez, who last year earned a spot on the 2008 All-Big East First Team.
Last season, Martinez led the league in shots per game and tied for fourth with .33 assists per game from his midfielder position. He also earned the Hall an overtime victory against Providence where he scored the game-winning goal.
Junior Jerry Saintil also drew all-conference accolades, earning a spot on the Second All-Big East Team.
Saintil joined the Pirates last season after transferring from Kean University. He had two goals and three assists in his first season as a Pirate.
Junior Samuel Petrone is another player watch on the offensive attack for Seton Hall. The transfer from Clemson led the Pirates in the 2008 season with 21 points.
The women’s team also placed a heavy emphasis on recruiting this season. After losing two graduating seniors, head coach Kazbek Tambi has signed five recruits.
Jennifer Pettigrew was goalkeeper for Tambi’s Under-17 Women’s Nation Team that won a silver medal at the 2008 U-17 World Cup in New Zealand. She was also a member of the ODP U-16 National Team and played for the nation’s No. 10 ranked Arsenal World Class team, leading them to the Jefferson Cup, Orange Classic Championships and the State Cup Finals in 2008.
Taylor Mims was a member of the 2008 U-17 Trinidad National Team and started in all three games in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, including a game against Tambi’s U.S. Nation Team.
Rebecca Warrington is a two-time All-Conference selection and, in her junior year, was named a First Team All-State honoree.
Also joining the Pirates are Jessica Kiniery, a four-year midfield starter at Somerville High School and Christina Barthel.
Barthel was ranked as Asbury Park Press’ leader in goals and assists in 2008 and Second Team All-Division by The Star-Ledger.
Tambi, who recently led his Under-17 team to a 3-0 season at the first ever Under-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, can look to returners Megan Mills, Katie Andreski and Elizabeth Bond to lead the Pirates.
Last year, Mills was named to the All-Big East Third Team for the second consecutive season. She appeared in all 18 games last season, and has started in 43 of 46 games in her three years at Seton Hall.
Andreski, a senior midfielder, led the team last season with six goals and one assist.
Bond, a junior goalkeeper, comes into the 2009 season with plenty of experience in the net, having played 1,397 minutes last season and racking up 62 saves.
As of press time, the men’s team has announced their 2009 season schedule. The Pirates will begin the regular season at Monmouth on Sept. 1 and will compete in their first Big East game on Sept. 18 at Syracuse.
Amanda Conte can be reached at email@example.com.