April 16, 2009
BOSTON - The reigning America East regular season and tournament champion Boston University men's soccer team will welcome five players for the 2009-10 academic year, including a U.S. National Team Member, an All-American and the state of Massachusetts' third all-time leading scorer, head coach Neil Roberts announced Thursday. Adedoja Akinsanya, Diego Garcia, Nick Prunier and Max White along with goalkeeper Brandon Briggs will make up the Class of 2013.
"We're very happy with the incoming class," Roberts said. "Obviously, we have an experienced team coming back. We only graduate one starter, so I think that the class coming in fits some of the needs we have as well as depth. We know that the style of play that these kids have can fit right in with what we are trying to do.
"I'd like to pay special thanks to my assistant coaches, Scott Black and Francis Okaroh, who have done an outstanding job in seeking out these young men who excel on the field and in the classroom," Roberts added. "Our foundation only continues to get stronger."
A native of Sacramento, Calif., Ade Akinsanya will join his older brother and rising sophomore, Temi Akinsanya, at the forward position this upcoming season. The winger played at John F. Kennedy High School but spent a majority of his time at the club (San Juan SC) and national level as a member of the U.S. U-14, 15, 17 and 18 pool. Ranked 23rd in TopDrawerSoccer.com's 2009 recruiting class, Akinsanya traveled with the Adidas All-Star Italy team in 2006 and was honored on the Cal North State and Region IV teams multiple times.
"He's a very gifted player and is both athletic and powerful," Roberts said. "He's technical as well and can play a number of positions. He's played up front and in the back for the national team and in the midfield for the regional team. So at a high level, he's played a number of different positions and has shown he can be a very versatile player for us."
The lone goalkeeper in the group, Brandon Briggs
is a native of Carson City, Nev., and currently holds the state record for most shutouts in a high school career with 35 in 61 games. He was a three-year starter at Carson H.S. and allowed only one goal in 20 games his senior year for a .067 goals against average. A member of the state Olympic Development Program (ODP) in 2005 and 06, Briggs spent the last three seasons at the club level with CASA Boca in Sacramento, Calif. Also a letterman in track, Briggs earned the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout in August of 2007 from the Boy Scouts of America.
"Brandon will give us depth at goal with Hrafn Davidsson back and Trevor McManamon getting a lot of experience this spring," Roberts explained. "He'll be an important part of our goalkeeping corps."
The first of three in-state recruits, Diego Garcia joins the Terriers from his hometown of Lexington. Named Boston Globe's Division I Player of the Year, Garcia was an NSCAA All-American in 2008 after leading the Middlesex League in goals (21), assists (10) and points (31). Also an all-state and all-New England selection, he finished his career with 48 goals and 31 assists. He played club soccer with the FC Blazers and FC Greater Boston Bolts, winning the state cup and the Region I Premier League North championship in 2007 and 08. He was also selected to the 2008 Boston Herald and Globe's all-scholastic squads.
"Diego is another versatile player who can play upfront and the midfield," Roberts said. "We're not exactly sure yet where he'll play. He can add to our depth and is a skillful player. The system he's been in the last two years is very similar to what we're trying to do."
Recipient of the Worcester Telegram's 2008 Men's Soccer Player of the Year award, Nick Prunier is currently ranked third all-time in the state of Massachusetts for goals scored with 105 total. A native of Douglas, he helped Douglas High to a 15-4-1 mark before falling to eventual D-III champion Broomfield in a Central Mass. Semifinal. A four-time all-state honoree, he was also named to this season's all-New England all-star team. A member of the FC Blazers, Prunier helped the team win the state title at the U-15, 16 and 17 levels while also reaching the Region I finals.
"Nick is a very gifted goal scorer," Roberts commented. "Obviously, he scored over 100 goals in high school. He scored at the club level and has played in regional finals, scoring big goals. He's a striker and gets off shots quickly. He has great balance and everything he hits is pretty much on target. I think he'll continue to score goals at the next level."
Another member of the FC Blazers, Max White joins BU from Belmont, Mass. A four-year varsity starter at Noble and Greenough, he is an all-state honoree and a two-time all-ISL first-team member. He helped the team reach the New England Class A semifinals once and the quarterfinals three times, including his senior year as a co-captain. Playing alongside Prunier with the Blazers, he served as a co-captain for three seasons, helping the team capture the state title three consecutive times and also reach the Region I finals each season as well. Besides player soccer, White was the school's top singles and doubles tennis player as a four-year varsity member.
"Max is a true left back, which we haven't had in a while," Roberts said. "He's a left-footed player and is technical. He needs to get stronger to adapt to the college game, but he's a very talented true left back."
This past season, the Terriers finished with a 12-6-3 record after reaching the second round of the NCAA tournament. The 1-0 loss at No. 3 seed St. John's snapped a 10-game unbeaten streak that included 1-0 wins over Binghamton in the AE title game and Fairleigh Dickinson in the first round of the NCAAs. The 12 victories marked the most for the Terriers since the team finished 2001 with a 13-5-1 record.