June 10, 2009
DeKALB - Head men's soccer coach Steve Simmons announced the addition of three players to the 2009 recruiting class Wednesday, bringing the total number of incoming players for the upcoming season to seven.
Newcomers Nate DuBois (Lemont, Ill./Lemont/Loras), Hooman Shams (Deerfield, Ill./Deerfield), and Rocco Taglia (Caledonia, Ill./Boylan) will join the four previous signees as the Huskies vie for their second Mid-American Conference Championship in four years.
"This class is going to compete right off the bat, and that's saying a lot with a very strong returning group highlighted by eight seniors," Simmons said.
DuBois spent the last two seasons at Loras College. As the starting goalkeeper for the Duhawks, DuBois helped his team to consecutive NCAA Division III Final Four appearances, and a 43-5-3 two-year record. He set a NCAA D-III record with a .955 save percentage during the 2007, allowing just three goals in 19 matches played. During his high school career at Lemont, DuBois garnered first-team all-conference honors three times, and all-area accolades twice.
"With the departure of (former goalkeeper) Joe Zimka, the goalkeeping core needs to be competitive," Simmons said. "He's going to have that championship experience, which is something that only comes with time, and he's certainly put in his time."
A product of F.C. Chicago, Hooman was recognized as an all-conference first team member and team most valuable player as a senior at Deerfield High School. As a senior, Hooman scored 14 goals, including two in the sectional semifinal game, and added 16 assists in 24 matches. In his first two years on the varsity roster, he compiled a total of six assists and nine goals. Among those was the regional final game-winner in overtime. Hooman helped the Big Green to a 19-4-1 record as a senior, and pushed his team to three regional championships.
Though Hooman played an attacking role in high school, Simmons said his experience as a defender with F.C. Chicago will translate even better to the college game.
"For the college level, not all defensive players are destroyers," Simmons said. "You have to have ability, so a lot of these kids craft their ability in attacking positions in high school. He's going to be very versatile in some crucial backline roles for us."
Rounding out the 2009 class is Taglia, a two-time first team all-state selection who played in the Illinois High School Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Game. Taglia scored 12 goals, and added 17 assists as a senior to help Boylan to an unblemished 10-0-0 conference mark, a 26-4-1 record overall, and a third place finish in the IHSA Tournament. The Titans also took third in state during Taglia's junior campaign, when he scored 16 goals and tallied 14 assists.
"When you look at what he brings to the table as far as being a potential leader, effect on team, attitude, those are the things that we feel are going to be exponentially important for us," Simmons said of Taglia. "You have to have the talent, you have to have the ability, you have to have the athleticism, but you also have to have personalities to bring that together."
DuBois, Hooman, and Taglia join winter signees Mike Mascitti (Downers Grove, Ill./South), Jordan Godsey (Ocean Springs, Miss./Ocean Springs), Stefan Vaziri (Birmingham, Ala./Oak Mountain) and Andrew Van Woesik (Allen, Texas/Plano).
The Huskies came minutes away from their second NCAA Tournament in three years in 2008, playing No. 2 Akron into double-overtime of the Mid-American Conference Championship game before eventually falling 1-0, and finishing the year with an 11-6-4 record.