February 14, 2013

Four Avengers Soccer Players Sign With Former Division II Champions

BROOKLYN, NY --- Four sophomore stalwarts who led ASA Men's Soccer to its best season in program history will be continuing their careers at a pair of quality NCAA Division II institutions with national championship legacies.

Jose Herrera, Eric Rosales, and Justin Stapleton will be moving on Dowling College, who captured the 2006 National Championship - with ASA Head Coach Mike Grudge on their staff as an assistant. The trio is expected to contribute immediately and help the Golden Lions bounce back from a 2-15-1 campaign in 2012.

Dowling Head Coach John DiRico said of the group, "these are three outstanding student-athletes that will help Dowling make its way back to Nationals."

Herrera was one of the most aggressive forwards on the team and his numbers show the benefits of his skills. He finished second on the team in goals (12), tied for first in assists (8) and second in points (32) in 2012.

Rosales and Stapleton anchored an Avengers defense that pitched shutouts in over half its games (9) and allowed eight goals in 16 games, good enough for a 0.52 goals against average. Stapleton also added two goals and three assists during the year.

Dorado Phipps will be headed further south, signing with the University of Tampa. The Spartans have won three national championships in their history (1981, 1994, 2001) and ended 2012 with a 10-6-1 record (6-2 in the Sunshine State Conference). Tampa was ranked #22 in the final NSCAA Division II national poll, made it to the semifinals of their conference tournament, and received an at-large bid to the 2012 NCAA Division II Tournament.

Phipps was the catalyst for ASA's breakout year which saw the team win the most games in program history and was one goal shy of their first Region XV title. The sophomore forward paced the team in goals (21) and points (44), good enough to rank T-6th and T-13th respectively in the NJCAA. Phipps scored multiple goals in seven games, highlighted by a four-goal game at Harford CC on August 31st.

"This is a great opportunity for both schools and all of our student-athletes," said Grudge when asked about the signings. "I am proud of each of them and expect great things from them at their new schools."