By John Manley
John Melody has Div. II soccer powerhouse Mercyhurst fully loaded for the 2000 season. The Lakers are off to a 4-1 start, with Waterford freshman John Frost already in the thick of things. He scored two goals (the first and the match winner) in a 4-2 defeat of Alderson-Broaddus. He has four for the season, along with three assists.
Mark Fitzgerald, a senior from Kerry, has a goal and two assists in five games. Coach Melody hails from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.
The North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers have an Irish look about them this season and the dividends are already rolling in. David McGill, a freshman midfielder from Dublin, assisted on the 49ers second goal in a 2-0 win over Campbell. McGill then notched the winning goal on a header in the 72nd minute in a 2-1 triumph over South Carolina. Teammate David Pedreschi, a junior from Dublin, earned an assist on the match’s first goal. The last time we saw Pedreschi’s name, he was helping Ohio Wesleyan to a Div. III championship. He sat out last year, while transferring to the Div. I 49ers.
Both McGill and Pedreschi earned assists for Charlotte’s first goal against Davidson, in a 3-2 loss. Pedreschi then set up the winning goal against De Paul, which went down, 3-1. Kilkenny sophomore Shane Carew also suits up for Charlotte’s backfield unit.
Christian Brothers’ Barry Gibney has scored a goal in each of the Bucs’ first three matches of 2000. The Dublin junior converted a penalty kick in a 10-0 laugher over Bethel College, knocked in the final tally in a 4-1 win over Florida Tech, and found the net less than four minutes into a 2-1 victory against Eckerd. He also earned an assist on the winning goal in the latter contest. CBU, now 3-0, is coached once again by Gareth O’Sullivan, a native of Ballina, Co. Mayo.
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Gareth Elliot set up teammate Dennis Richards in the second minute of play against James Madison, but the goal didn’t hold up as Rhode Island suffered a 3-2 loss, dropping to 2-2. Elliot is a junior from Belfast.
Boston College hopes to rebound this year and they sport a 2-1 record thus far. They bowed with a 1-0 loss to Stony Brook, but then prevailed in overtime against Boston University, 4-3. A 2-0 victory over Notre Dame came on the heels of that. Dubliner Ed Kelly calls the shots in Chestnut Hill.
Trevor Adair is well on the way to erasing the unhappy memories left by last year’s campaign. His Clemson Tigers got the season off to a 2-0 start with victories by identical 4-0 scores over Hartford and Wofford. Adair hails from Belfast.
Another Belfastman, Tom McLoughlin, saw his Fairleigh Dickinson-Madison squad overcome a plague of injuries to start the season with a 2-1 victory over Baptist Bible.
Tracy Mulligan picked up an assist in Christian Brothers’ 5-2 season-opening win over Bethel. A junior from Dublin, Mulligan transferred to the Memphis school from the University of Mobile. Gareth O’Sullivan also coaches the women’s squad at CBU.
The University of South Carolina left the Atlantic Coast Conference back in the 1970s, which may be a good thing for Sue Kelly and her team. After opening with a 2-0 win over North Carolina-Greensboro, the Gamecocks lost four straight, all to ACC schools. The run began with a 1-0 loss to North Carolina State, followed by defeats administered by Clemson, 2-0, North Carolina, 9-1, and Duke, 5-1. South Carolina, now a Southeastern Conference member, doesn’t begin league play until later this month. Coach Kelly hails from Cork.
Denise Lyons can’t be feeling too comfortable, either, not after her Keene State squad lost its first two matches to Elizabethtown, 3-0, and The College of New Jersey, 6-0. Keene righted matters next out, with a 3-1 win over Western New England.