Rider Signs Six Recruits
Courtesy: Rider Sports Information  
Release:  03/04/2009

Courtesy: Peter G. Borg (Rider University)
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Men’s College Soccer

Rider Signs 6

LAWRENCEVILLEŚRider University head soccer coach Russ Fager has announced the addition of six players to his 2009 roster.

Sam Kotowski of Princeton, Ryan Fitzgerald of Yardville, Matt Perrella of North Brunswick, Dan Friga of Clifton, Steve Suntzenich of Massapequa, NY and Fardad Sabzevari of Roslyn, NY have signed national letters of intent to further their educations and athletic careers at Rider in the fall.

“We feel this is one of the strongest recruiting classes in quite a long time,” said Fager, who has compiled 246 wins at Rider. “We have added some quality finishers with Kotowski, Fitzgerald and Friga, two extremely talented backs in Suntzenich and Sabzevari, and a very talented keeper in Perrella.”

Kotowski, a senior at Princeton High School, was named the Mercer County Player of the Year last fall as well as receiving All-State, All-CVC, All-Area and NSCAA/adidas All-East Region honors.

In his four years at Princeton High Kotowski helped his team win the Central Jersey Group II Championship, two Mercer County Tournament Championships and three Conference Titles. In his four seasons he compiled 75 goals, including a New Jersey best 31 as a senior, and 28 career assists, setting his high school single season and career scoring marks.

“Sam always seems to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net,” Fager said. “It is rare that I attend a game to watch him where he doesn’t score one or two goals. He is always around the goal causing problems for the defense, looking for ways to get off a shot or find a teammate open. I feel certain he will have an immediate impact on the team and our success.”

Fitzgerald compiled 22 goals and 11 assists as a senior at Steinert High School, earning First Team All-State and All-CVC honors while leading his team to a fourth consecutive CVC Championship. He was a Second Team All-State and All-CVC selection as a sophomore.

“Ryan is a very strong player who combines quality finishing with tremendously accurate passes,” Fager said. “He is strong on the ball, runs the field well and finds the back of the net with consistency. Ryan and Sam should make an immediate impact on the team and the entire conference.”

Sabzevari is a senior at Roslyn High School, where he was a four-year member of the varsity and earned All-County honors as a junior and as a senior. Sabzevari was named the County Tournament MVP this past fall.

“Fardad combines strong technical ability with a tremendous desire for the game,’ Fager said. “He is very versatile and can play in the back or in the midfield and uses his athletic ability to deny opposing forwards the ball. He has the speed to run with most anyone. He is currently playing with the Albertson Academy.”

Friga is a senior at Clifton High School where he earned All-State, All-Passaic County and All-Northern Hills Conference honors, leading his team to the Passaic County Championship. Playing for the TSF Academy club team, Friga was the top scorer in the Super Y League ODP National Championships, where he led his team to a first place finish and was named Tournament MVP.

“Dan is a very strong attacking player and uses his technical ability and raw power to get the job done,” Fager said. “We look to him to score some goals as a freshman while he learns the Division I game. He has a tremendous competitive spirit and the desire to win. I have never seen him slow down in a game or believe he couldn’t score the winning goal. He, along with Kotowski and Fitzgerald, will make the team a much stronger attacking unit and will allow us to hold the ball better.”

Suntzenich, a senior at Massapequa High School, was the left defender on the Nassau County Champion as a junior and senior, earning All-Conference honors as a senior.

“Steve has played with some of the best club teams in the area, from the Massapequa Terminators to the New York Rough Riders to his present club, Albertson Academy,” Fager said. “He is a player who is always calm under pressure and always makes the right decisions. “Composure and maturity are the keys to his game. Steve is a quality athlete, a student of the game and a tremendous leader.”

Perrella, a senior at North Brunswick High, compiled 11 shutouts for the GMC Division Champs who also won the Central Jersey Group 4 Title, earning All-State honors. In two years at North Brunswick he compiled 26 shutouts.

“Matt is an excellent keeper who had looks from some very big schools,” Fager said. “We are fortunate that he decided to stay close to home and attend Rider. He is extremely quick, reads the game well and is gifted athletically. We feel sure he will be competing for a starting position and will add to an already strong group of keepers.”

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