Lions look like contenders early on

by Nick Crispino 

    The 2012 season for the Molloy men's soccer team ended in a disappointment, finishing with an overall record of 7-10, and 3-6, in the East Coast Conference. The performance by the team was better than what their record showed, six times the Lions lost by just one goal in 2012.  The 2013 campaign has started differently, showing the Molloy community that this year can be heading in the right direction.

    As of Sept. 27, seventh-year Head Coach, Danny Longo, has led the Lions to an undefeated record of 2-0-1 in the East Coast Conference and 3-3-1 overall. All three losses have been eerily similar to last season, losing by just one goal.  The stability that the Lions have maintained can be the cause of the outstanding play of last seasons leading scorers, seniors Dan Brown and Mario Gagliano. Brown reached the 2012 Second Team All-ECC selection and led the lions in points (22) and a team-high in assists (8).  Gagliano added a total of 14 points from seven goals in 2012. Both players are shining early in the season, leading the Lions in points with 4. Gagliano has also shown his versatility on the field, starting at goalie for the Lions in two games this season.  Seniors Anthony Morais, Stephen Reyes, and Junior Dane Leavy have started in the back row for Lions this year, giving them an experienced defense.

    New acquisitions, freshman Nyder Chardonnette and junior transfer Hamza Elotmani have played every game this year. Both players are providing energy for the team, Chardonnette earning an assist and Elotmani scoring two goals on the season. Before transferring to Molloy, Elotmani helped Tyler Junior College win back-to-back championships in Texas. Chardonnette also had success prior to coming to Molloy, earning the 2011 Nassau County High School Player of the Year out of Uniondale High School. Returning players, seniors Tom Garcia and Jovani Ramos, also junior Mathias Coni have helped solidify the Lions up front and at midfield. Protecting the net is junior Justin Corke. Corke just started four matches in 2012 but has played magnificent in five starts this year. Corke has 29 saves, 4 goals against and 1 shut out.

   During the month of October, Molloy can gain a substantial lead in the East Coast Conference. With a .879 save percentage, Corke has giving the Lions a chance to win every game this season. A stretch of matches against rivals, Dowling, District of Columbia, St. Thomas Aquinas, Long Island University and Bridgeport College are scheduled from Oct. 2 to Oct. 26.

To see more photos from the Molloy Men's Soccer games visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/molloylife/sets/72157635593378655/