Chris Nanco – Syracuse University
Giuliano Frano – Boston College
When Kyle Bekker and Emery Welshman finished their collegiate careers and moved to the MLS with Toronto FC, you might have been excused for thinking the 2013 collegiate soccer season would be a step back for Sigma FC.
About one-third through the NCAA/CIS soccer seasons, and Sigma FC players have been nothing short of sensational, with many freshman and sophomore players stepping into prominent roles for their teams.
Consider the highlights:
"It has been a phenomenal start to the University season for our 30 players competing in NCAA and CIS play,' said Sigma FC technical director Bobby Smyrniotis. "Our guys have been fantastic. They had a great summer season with SIGMA training hard and focusing on being ready for their college seasons."
In the NCAA Division I, it has been difficult to keep up with the torrid scoring pace. Evansville's Mark Anthony Gonzalez has had three consecutive games with game-winners, including a heart-stopper in overtime against the then No.6 ranked St. Louis Billikins. Freshman Mark Wadid leads Penn State in scoring with three goals, all game winners. Wadid was named Big Ten Co-offensive Player of the Week. Giuliano Frano set up the tying goal and scored the winner in Boston College's 2-1 win over Pitt recently, and backstopped the Eagles to a 0-0 tie against No.2-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Syracuse's dynamic freshman duo of Alex Halis and Chris Nanco have taken turns scoring dramatic winning goals. Most recently, it was Nanco's turn, scoring a late winner against Duke for a much-coveted ACC win over the Blue Devils. Connecticut Huskies have relied on the timely scoring of Cyle Larin and the tenacious defending of Kwame Awuah.
Cyle Larin – UCONN
Mark A. Gonzalez – U of Evansville
Kwame Awuah - UCONN
According to Smyrniotis, the collegiate success is part of the overall training environment, that plans and works all year to bring the players to their peak when they leave for their schools. "Our guys are doing a great job during the whole year. Between their time at University and training with SIGMA they have a 10 month season," he explained.
"It is important to understand that our mandate at SIGMA is not only to develop players for play beyond youth soccer but to develop them to succeed in their environments," Smyrniotis went on. "Over the past years, our players have been among the top in University soccer on both sides of the border.
"With 2013 seeing the departure of guys like Bekker, Welshman from the University game to the pros it is the next generation of SIGMA players making a big difference at each of their programs. I am proud of our SIGMA players and their successes. The players have gone a long way into making SIGMA FC a well known brand and producer of talent all over North America."
In Division II soccer, Sigma's Lucas Ferritto has been key to the early season success of Simon Fraser as they currently hold down the No.1 ranking in the division with a 6-0-0 record. Domenic Samuel has been a defensive mainstay of the Southern New Hampshire Penmen. Freshman Christian Samaniego has been a fixture in the starting lineup for Southern Connecticut State, while Jordan Hibbert has lead Adelphi to a strong showing in their first year in Division II.
Freshman Aidan Nagy and Orestis Ilias of Division III Roanoke Maroons of Salem, Va. have played key rolls as the team sits at 5-1-0 and have been ranked as high as No, 17 nationally.
In CIS play, Kenneth Viegas has been the starter in goal for the Toronto Varsity Blues, while Nathanial Morris is tied for 11th in the OUA in scoring for the No. 6 ranked McMaster Marauders.
In the Junior College ranks, Justin Stoddart has scored 5 goals for Lewis & Clark as the team sits at 7-1-0.
Aidan Nagy – Roanoke College
Jordan Hibbert – Adelphi University
For a recap of recent games, click the links below:
Penn State (Mark Wadid): http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-soccer/spec-rel/092313aab.html
Evansville (Mark Anthony Gonzalez) : http://www.gopurpleaces.com/news/2013/9/20/MSOC_0920133516.aspx
Syracuse (ChrisNanco/AlexHalis) : http://suathletics.syr.edu/news/2013/9/20/MSOC_0920135013.aspx
Connecticut (Cyle Larin/Kwame Awuah) : http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/m-soccer/recaps/092213aaa.html
Boston College (Giulano Frano) : http://www.bceagles.com/sports/m-soccer/recaps/092213aaa.html
Dayton (Ryan Lyn) : http://www.daytonflyers.com/news/2013/9/24/MSOC_0924132344.aspx
Buffalo (Kristian Lee-Him) : http://www.buffalobulls.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/releases/20130922q3yvp2
Quinnipiac (Brandon Goode) : http://www.quinnipiacbobcats.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/releases/20130924qx7cqy
Mercer (Greg Ranjitsingh) : http://www.mercerbears.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/releases/20130922r6xy9f
Fordham (Jon Agostino) : http://www.fordhamsports.com/news/2013/9/20/MSOC_0920131602.aspx
Bryant (L. Guerriero/M. Guerriero) : http://www.bryantbulldogs.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/releases/20130921lugtye
McMaster (Nathanial Morris) : http://www.marauders.ca/index.aspx?tab=soccer(m)&path=msoc
Toronto (Kenneth Viegas) : http://www.varsityblues.ca/news/2013/9/22/MSOC_0922131423.aspx
Simon Fraser (Lucas Ferritto) : http://athletics.sfu.ca/news/2013/9/24/MSOC_0924131356.aspx?path=general
Adelphi (Jordan Hibbert) : http://www.aupanthers.com/news/2013/9/21/MSOC_0921132910.aspx
Southern Connecticut State (Christian Samaniego/David Igreja) : http://www.southernctowls.com/news/2013/9/6/MSOC_0906134951.aspx
Southern New Hampshire (Domenic Samuel) : http://www.snhupenmen.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/releases/201309219u7h4a
Tiffin (Paulo Farias) : http://www.gotiffindragons.com/article/2071.php
Philadelphia (Jordan Lynch) : http://www.philaurams.com/sports/msoc/2013-14/releases/20130921j981ej
Roanoke (Aidan Nagy/Orestis Ilias) : http://maroons.roanoke.edu/news/2013/9/21/MSOC_0921132733.aspx?path=msoc
Lewis & Clark (Justin Stoddart) : http://www.lc.edu/athletics/mens/soccer/
Lakeland (Thomas Giannotta) : http://www2.lakelandcc.edu/athletics/sport.asp?SportID=7
Lucas Ferritto – Simon Fraser University
Christian Samaniego – Southern Connecticut ST.