1996 Providence College Men's Soccer Wrap-Up

6-8-4, 2-5-4, 9th BIG EAST
Coach: Brian Ainscough
Captain: Jonathan Crawford

The 1996 season was a year of improvement for the Providence College soccer program. Picked to finish last in the Conference in the Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Friars surprised many people in New England and the BIG EAST with wins against nationally and regionally ranked opponents.

PC finished the season 6-8-4 overall and 2-5-4 in BIG EAST action. The six wins were the most PC has recorded since 1993. Only a, 1-0, defeat at the University of Connecticut in PC's last conference game of the season, kept the Friars from their first appearance in the BIG EAST Tournament since 1987.

The Friars opened their season with a 1-0 loss to eventual NCAA Tournament team Notre Dame, at PC's Glay Field. In its next game, Providence recorded its first win of the season, a 2-0 victory against Fairfield University at Fairfield, Conn. Providence graduate captain Jonathan Crawford scored the game-winning goal at the 23:00 mark on a penalty kick.

Over PC's next three games, the Friars posted an 1-1-1 record, including a win against a nationally ranked team. On September 8, against the University of Pittsburgh, freshman midfielder Andrew McConville tallied his first collegiate goal with 10 seconds remaining in regulation time to force a 2-2 overtime tie. In PC's next two games, the Friars faced state rivals University of Rhode Island, an eventual NCAA Tournament Team, and Brown University. Providence defeated fourth-ranked Rhode Island, 1-0, at Providence, R.I., on September 14. Junior midfielder Robert Kruse scored the game-winning goal at the 35:32 mark on a pass from freshman midfielder Michael Eisenhut. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Pires faced 14 shots and recorded four saves, earning his second shutout of the season. Against cross-town rival Brown University, the Friars dropped a heartbreaking, 2-1, loss at Brown's Stevenson Stadium.

After Providence's loss to Brown, the Friars responded with a three game unbeaten streak. The Friars posted a 2-2 tie against fifth-ranked Rutgers University at Providence, R.I. on September 20. After jumping out to an early 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by junior midfielder Robert Kruse, Rutgers scored two unanswered second-half goals en route to a 2-2 overtime tie. Providence won their first BIG EAST game of the season against Villanova on September 22. Sophomore forward Bobby Brown scored the game-winning goal at the 15:04 mark and McConville added a goal, leading the Friars to a 2-0 victory. After PC's first BIG EAST win of the season, the Friars defeated the third-ranked team in New England, Yale University, at New Haven, Conn., on September 25. PC senior midfielder Tony Czar scored the game-winning goal with 1:38 remaining in overtime to give the Friars a 2-1 victory. Pires faced 25 shots and recorded a career-high 14 saves in the win. Following the win against Yale, Providence suffered their worst defeat of the season, a 6-1 loss at Seton Hall on September 28.

After two road games, PC returned home for a brief homestand with a 4-3-2 overall record. On October 1, against Holy Cross, Eisenhut scored the game-winning goal with seven seconds remaining in overtime to give the Friars a 1-0 overtime victory. The Friars closed out the homestand with a 2-1 win against West Virginia and a 3-3 tie against Georgetown. However, PC's offense disappeared over the next two contests. Providence was defeated by nationally-ranked St. John's, 4-0, and at Syracuse, 1-0.

Providence returned to Glay Field with a 6-5-3 record to face BIG EAST foe Boston College. Senior back Joseph O'Connell scored the game-tying goal with 4:28 remaining in overtime to force a 3-3 tie. Next at home for PC was Dartmouth College. Dartmouth scored three unanswered goals in the first half to earn a 3-2 victory. Providence junior forward Juan Acevedo scored two goals in the loss.

With aspirations of qualifying for their first BIG EAST Tournament appearance since 1987, the Friars traveled to the University of Connecticut for their last conference game of the season on November 3. However, Connecticut scored the only goal of the game at the 106:24 mark to give the Huskies a 1-0 overtime victory. The Friars closed out the 1996 season with a 3-0 loss at Harvard University on November 6.

Providence finished the season with a 6-8-4 overall record and a 2-5-4 mark in the BIG EAST. The Friars were led by junior forward Juan Acevedo (four goals, five assists) and freshman midfielder Andrew McConville (four goals, three assists). McConville and freshman Michael Eisenhut earned First Team All-BIG EAST Rookie accolades. Sophomore goalkeeper Daniel Pires, who earned Second Team All-BIG EAST honors, finished the season with a 1.48 goals against average and an .829 save percentage. He also recorded four shutouts during the season.

1996 MEN'S SOCCER LETTER WINNERS

Jonathan Crawford '97
Chris Coulis '97
Tony Czar '97
Chris Ivany '97
Joseph O'Connell '97
Mike Wright '97
Juan Acevedo '98
Tom Babka '98
Robert Kruse '98
Andy McDonald '98
Bobby Brown '99
Gary Corrigan '99
Rafael Haegney '99
Keith Kostrzewski '99
Daniel Pires '99
Jim Riccobono '99
Michael Eisenhut '00
Chris Holterhoff '00
Kevin Jones '00
Jeremy Krause '00
Andy McConville '00

1996 MEN'S SOCCER - AWARDS AND HONORS

Kevin Jones
- All-BIG EAST Rookie Team

Andrew McConville
- All-BIG EAST Rookie Team
- BIG EAST Rookie of the Week (9/9)

Danielle Pires
- All-BIG EAST Second Team
- BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week (9/23, 10/7)

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