08/05/09 — Riggs welcomes 11 new freshmen into men's soccer program

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Riggs welcomes 11 new freshmen into men's soccer program

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on August 5, 2009 1:46 PM

MOC Sports Information

MOUNT OLIVE -- Four all-state selections are among 11 players who each signed a national letter-of-intent with the Mount Olive College men's soccer program this fall.

Preseason practice begins next week.

All but one recruit hails from the Tar Heel State.

"I am very excited about this recruiting class," said MOC head men's soccer coach Jerry Riggs. "This is a very talented group that will make an immediate impact on our team and give us much needed depth at every position. All of these recruits have had good high school and club ball careers.

"They are not only good soccer players but they are also good student-athletes."

The incoming freshmen are:

* Alex Rodriguez (Goldsboro) -- A four-time, all-conference selection, Rodriguez guided Charles B. Aycock to four consecutive Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season championships. The 2008 News-Argus Player of the Year, Rodriguez amassed a county-leading 35 goals and 20 assists during his senior season.

* Kofi Amissah (Haymarket, Va.) -- The lone signee from outside North Carolina, Amissah played defender at Battlefield High School. He also partcipated on the Team America Club Team.

* Jamie Carano (Charlotte) -- An all-state and all-region goalkeeper from Olympic High School, Carano was named the conference goalie of the year. He was also selected to the 2008 Charlotte Weekly Super Team.

* Matthew Cargile (Jacksonville) -- A midfielder/forward, Cargile earned all-region, all-county and all-conference accolades. He collected 27 goals and six assists during his senior season with perennial 3-A powerhouse White Oak.

* Ramon Gallardo (Knightdale) -- An all-state, all-region and all-conference performer, Gallardo notched 14 goals and 24 assists at East Wake High School.

* Kelly Keaton (Greensboro) -- Keaton received all-region and all-conference recognition as a defender/midfielder at Northwest Guilford HS.

* Aaron Knoezer (Burgaw) -- The Pender graduate was the player of the year and defensive player of the year for the Patriots. He earned all-conference honors.

* John Mendoza (Shallotte) -- A midfielder who starred at West Brunswick, Mendoza played in the 2009 East-West All-Star Game in Greensboro nearly two weeks ago. He received all-state accolades.

* Brandon Santiago (Jacksonville) -- Another player from the Onslow County pipeline established by Riggs, Santiago played club ball with the Onslow Classic Soccer Association and graduated from White Oak.

* Zac Scott (Pittsboro) -- The goalkeeper piled up all-region and all-conference honors at Northwood HS. He was named the conference goalie of the year.

* Zach Scott (Jacksonville) -- Another all-state performer from Jacksonville HS, Scott showcased his talents in the 2009 Clash of the Carolinas All-Star Game. He was named the Onslow County Defensive Player of the Year.

Mount Olive compiled a 9-7-3 record in 2008, including the program's first-ever victory over a nationally-ranked team. The Trojans kick off their 2009 campaign at home Aug. 29 against region foe USC Aiken.