Fall sports preview: trio of squads seek postseason play

After another season without a Big East Tournament berth, the men’s soccer team takes the field in 2009 with postseason play in sight.

The Hall, which finished 6-8-4 overall and 2-5-4 in conference play in 2008, has been picked to finish sixth in the Big East’s Blue Division.

A sixth place finish or better would earn the team a berth in the conference tournament.

Coach Manfred Schellscheidt hopes to guide the Hall back to Big East Tournament play after a two-year hiatus. In reaching this goal Schellscheidt will turn to Brayan Martinez to lead the way.

Martinez, a junior midfielder, finished 2008 as a first team All-Big East selection and was named to the Preseason All-Big East team this season.

Martinez will join forwards Dritan Sela and Sam Petrone as the Pirates return their top three scorers from a year ago. The trio combined for 17 of Seton Hall’s 27 total goals in 2008.

Other important returnees to this year’s team include defensemen Kurt Cameron and Andrew Welker, as well as senior goalkeeper Paul McHenry, who posted three shutouts a year ago.

The road will be tough when playing in the Big East for the Pirates. The Hall faces both top picks Notre Dame and St. John’s on the road as well as tough home matches against Blue Division opponents Connecticut and West Virginia to finish their home schedule.

Seton Hall opens up its season September 1 at Monmouth.

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Coming off of a disappointing season, a young women’s soccer squad is looking to progress while also bidding for a return to the postseason.

Five freshmen join an already underclassmen-heavy team that struggled to a 5-11-2 record last season that saw only one win and nine losses in Big East play.

Former Fairleigh Dickinson head coach Peter Gaglioti has joined the coaching staff. Gaglioti was with the Knights for eight prior seasons.

The Pirates start off the season at Maryland before returning home to host Fairfield in late August. The real test however, will be a mid-season stretch of four critical home games. The Hall will meet DePaul, Notre Dame, St. John’s, and Syracuse all within ten days starting on Oct. 9.

Those are four of the team’s last six games, which make them all that much more important for in its attempt to make the Big East Tournament.

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Last year, the volleyball team fell just short of the Big East Tournament due to losing their final two matches against South Florida and Georgetown, finishing with a 14-14 record.

Senior Allie Matters looks to continue on her record-breaking path as a Pirate. Last season, she shattered the Hall’s single-season digs record with a total of 576, previously owned by Jessica Pompei with 415.

She is also 165 digs away from breaking the school’s all-time career record of 1,496 also set by Pompei.

Matters was named to the 2009 preseason All-Big East team.

Ranked No. 12 in the conference’s preseason poll, the team returns four starters from last year’s squad.

Key matches for the Hall seemingly occur right at the midpoint of the season when the team hosts top big East picks Louisville and Cincinnati (selected No. 1 and No. 3 respectively) on back-to-back days beginning on October 17.

The Pirates open their season August 28 at the University of Buffalo Invitational, where the team will play Fordham.

Timothy LeCras can be reached at timothy.lecras@student.shu.edu.
Nicholas Parco can be reached at nicholas.parco@student.shu.edu.
Zachary Cziryak can be reached at zachary.cziryak@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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