February 13, 2009

Furman Men's Soccer Adds Six Newcomers For 2009

Feb. 13, 2009

Greenville, S.C. -- The Furman University men's soccer team has added six newcomers, including five freshmen and one transfer, for the 2009 season, it was announced this week by head coach Doug Allison.

Jacob Brown (The Rock, Ga.), Alex Crooks (Cumming, Ga.), Mark Gabriel (Marietta, Ga.), Daniel Hojaij (Peachtree City, Ga.) and Nicky MacKain (Suwanee, Ga.) will join the Paladins in the fall while Newberry College transfer Debola Ogunseye (Lagos, Nigeria) has already enrolled at Furman.

"We are really excited about this year's class and believe they can have an immediate impact on our program," said Allison. "Each of the six are outstanding student-athletes and a good fit for Furman University and the men's soccer program."

Ogunseye garnered all-region and All-South Atlantic Conference honors three straight years while scoring 48 goals and totaling 115 points for Newberry. MacKain, a defender, boasts experience with the Region III Olympic Developmental Program and the Super Y National ODP squad.

The 2009 Paladins return nine starters from last season's squad that finished 11-8-1 squad that posted a 4-3-0 mark in Southern Conference play.

2009 Signing Class

Player Pos. Hometown Last School Club

Jacob Brown MF The Rock, Ga. Upson-Lee High School AFC Lightning

Alex Crooks MF/D Cumming, Ga. Chattahoochee High School Norcross Soccer

Mark Gabriel F Marietta, Ga. Pope High School Atlanta Fire United

Daniel Hojaij MF Peachtree City, Ga. Starr's Mills High School AFC Lightning

Nicky MacKain D Suwanee, Ga. Collins Hill High School Atlanta Fire United

Debola Ogunseye F Lagos, Nigeria Newberry

Jacob Brown

5-4, Midfielder

The Rock, Ga.

Played for head coach Matt Bentley at Upson-Lee High School... Helped his team to back-to-back region titles as a sophomore and junior... Has started all 53 games during high school career while scoring 33 goals and adding 10 assists, including 14 goals and nine assists as a junior last season... 2008 all-region selection and team captain... Also played club soccer for the AFC Lightning and coach Robin Dixon... Claimed 2007 state title and reached finals of 2008 Disney Cup... Five-year member of the Georgia State ODP team.

Alex Crooks

5-9, Midfielder

Cumming, Ga.

Prepped for coach Les Meenan at Chattahoochee High School... Guided Chattahoochee to region championships in 2007 and 2008... Reached the AAAAA state final in 2007... Led his team in assists in each of the last two years and paced Chattahoochee in scoring in 2008... Named team captain and MVP last season... Performed for Norcross Soccer club team and coach Tony Annon... Led Norcross Fury Gold to 2008 Georgia state championship, Region III Premier League title and Score by the Shore championship... Norcross ended 2008 ranked first in Georgia and fifth in Region III.

Mark Gabriel

5-7, Forward

Marietta, Ga.

Offensive Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and junior for coach Richard Groeneveld and Pope High School... Led Pope in both goals and points in 2007 and 2008 after missing freshman season with an injury... Played club soccer for Atlanta Fire United and coach Darren McKune... Helped AFU to the 2005 state title, 2007 Classic 1 and Disney Cup titles, and the finals of the 2008 state cup and Disney Cup... Paced Atlanta Fire United in goals and points in each of the last two years... Six-year member of the Georgia State ODP team.

Daniel Hojaij

6-0, Midfielder

Peachtree City, Ga.

Played for coach Mike Haine at Starr's Mill High School... Earned team most valuable player and all-region honors last season... established new school assist record... Joined fellow Paladin signee Jacob Brown playing for coach Robin Dixon and the AFC Lightning... Claimed 2007 state title and reached finals of 2008 Disney Classic... Three-year Georgia State ODP team member and part of the Region III ODP pool.

Nicky MacKain

6-3, Defender

Suwanee, Ga.

Four-year varsity starter for coach Stan Carpenter at Collin's Hill High School... named squad's best defensive player as a sophomore and junior while serving as a team captain each year... 2008 all-county selection and 2009 Gwinnett Super Six pick... Played club soccer for coach Darren McKune and Atlanta Fire United... Served as team captain two straight year and was a member of the U.S. Academy team in 2008 and 2009... Five-year member of the Georgia State ODP team... Member of the Region III pool and played with the Region III team in tournaments in Brazil and Argentina... Part of 2007 and 2008 National Super Y ODP team.

Debola Ogunseye

5-6, Forward

Lagos, Nigeria

Transfer who was a three-year starter and three-time First Team All-South Atlantic Conference pick from 2006-08 at Newberry College where he graduated with a degree in sociology... Ranked second in Newberry history with 48 goals, 19 assists and 115 total points... Earned NSCAA All-Appalachian Region First Team honors in 2006 and 2007 before garnering NSCAA All-Southeast Region honors in 2008... Named to Daktronics All-Appalachian Region First Team twice after taking second team honors in 2006... Tallied 15 goals and 10 assists for Newberry in 2008 after totaling 17 goals and three assists in 2007. Started all 16 matches with 16 goals and six assists as a freshman.