|Marlborough’s Yuri Moreira, who has been pacing the Wheaton College men’s soccer team in scoring this fall, is among 13 area players on its roster. (Keith Nordstrom)|
Wheaton soccer gets a local boost
The talent pool of soccer prospects from Massachusetts high schools, prep schools, and club teams has never been better, according to Wheaton College men’s coach Matt Cushing, whose roster includes 13 area players, seven in the starting lineup.
Wheaton, 9-2-1 and ranked 13th nationally in Division 3, is paced offensively by junior captain Yuri Moreira of Marlborough, who has three multigoal games this season and ranks sixth in the history of the men’s program in career goals (30) and 10th in points (66).
Moreira and fellow tricaptains Cole Davidson of Needham and David Ferriero of Medway were teammates this summer, playing for the Maine Sting in the National Premier Soccer League.
Davidson, a goalkeeper who has matched his single-season high with four shutouts this fall, is sixth all-time at the Norton school in wins (20), saves (141), and shutouts (11).
Ferriero, a defender, had a string of 45 consecutive starts for Wheaton.
“The difference between last season and this season for Yuri is that he’s making the most of his chances. He’s gone from being a shooter to a finisher,’’ Cushing said of Moreira, who prepped at Northfield-Mount Hermon School in Central Massachusetts.
“Cole came back this year very fit and is playing at the level he’s capable of. He commands the box, he has big-time presence and he’s the best D-3 keeper in New England, in my opinion.
“And David is our defensive leader who’s having an All-American-type season,’’ the coach said of Ferriero.
Wheaton’s other starters include a pair of Acton-Boxborough Regional graduates, junior forward Josh Solomon and junior midfielder Kyle Sye, freshman midfielder Cecil Jeffrey of Framingham (Rivers School), and freshman defender Howard Manly of Ayer (Lawrence Academy).
Heading into yesterday’s home game against Coast Guard Academy, Moreira had 11 goals (four game winners) and two assists this season.
Solomon, who was second in team scoring with four goals (one game winner) and two assists, is the only Wheaton men’s soccer player with three-goal and three-assist games to his credit, and he ranks eighth in career assists (19).
“Josh is probably our best all-around player, Kyle goes box-to-box and is a consistent player, Cecil is among the best D-3 freshmen in the country, and Howard plays at a great pace,’’ said Cushing.
His roster also includes two Lincoln-Sudbury Regional grads, junior forward Jake Wagner and sophomore midfielder Nick Addeo; freshman defender Malcolm Eaton of Ayer (St. Paul’s School); freshman forward Will Nesbitt, a Holliston High graduate; freshman midfielder Gabe Reich of Brookline (Beaver Country Day); and freshman forward Max Swanson, out of Lexington High School.
Baban, who is among the top five in several offensive categories for NYU’s volleyball squad and entered the season ranked fourth all-time at the university in set assists, had been named to a pair of all-tournament teams.
“Mina came in with the determination of becoming an elite setter this year. She took all of her experiences from her freshman year and has been able to improve upon every skill,’’ said NYU head coach Ed Caesar, whose team was 15-3 overall going into a match against Carnegie Mellon yesterday.
“Her blocking and defense have improved and it has made her a very strong all-around player. If Mina keeps developing as quickly as she has the past year, there will be no limit to her achievements,’’ Caesar said.
As a senior at Westborough High, Baban was named the Rise Magazine/Gatorade Player of the Year for Massachusetts, and was twice selected to the Massachusetts All-State team and the Midland Wachusett League All-Star team.
She was also the Midland Wachusett MVP her senior season after setting four school records, including for career assists.
Last weekend in Concord, N.C., Shoemaker won the men’s elite title - by a whisker - at the ITU Duathlon World Championships, completing a 10K run, 40K bike ride and a 5K run in 1 hour 49 minutes 2 seconds. It was the Maynard resident’s second world title. He also took gold at the Under-23 2005 ITU Triathlon World Championships in Japan. He was a member of the US triathlon team at the Beijing Olympics last year.
He used a strong finishing kick at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last weekend to not only top a field of 60 competitors, but also edge France’s Damien Derobert just before the tape.
Shoemaker, who graduated from Dartmouth in 2004, undertook a regimen of bike riding and swimming his last two years of college to prepare for his new challenge.
Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or marvin.pave@ rcn.com.