David Borne | Staff Writer
Sept. 6, 2018
Following a massive offseason roster turnover, Men’s Soccer Head Coach Chase Brooks and his staff brought in 15 fresh faces to join their squad this season. Of those newcomers, eight are international players.
Manel Busquets (Spain), Denis Celik (Germany), Nathan Dossantos (Canada), Rob Dymond (New Zealand), Moritz Kappelsberger (Germany), Domenic Nascimben (Australia), Gylfi Stefansson (Iceland) and Eric Zech (Germany) have all seen time in the team’s first three matches.
It’s no coincidence that so much global talent ended up on the Bluff at the same time. Brooks acknowledged that international players have proven to be difference makers, and he recruited them in order to keep up with other top programs.
“We strategically went out and got the internationals. If you look at the way the collegiate game is going, the internationals are a key if you look at some of the most successful programs,” Brooks said. “Even in the A-10 last year, there was a line in the sand. If you had six or more internationals, you made the A-10 tournament. We had five.
“That was the same throughout the rest of the A-10,” he continued. “Everybody below that number didn’t make the A-10 tournament. We wanted to make sure we had a good group of guys that are ready to compete.”
The international imports have already made their mark on the young season, and Brooks has taken note. Both Busquets and Dymond have each recorded their first collegiate goals. Domenic Nascimben earned a shutout in his first career start (versus Detroit Mercy), while Dossantos, Kappelsberger and Zech have all logged major minutes manning the back line.
“We’ve thrown a couple of these guys into the deep end of the pool. I think we started seven freshmen on Friday night, and six or seven today,” Brooks said following Duquesne’s 3-0 defeat of Detroit Sunday afternoon. “The freshmen in general have been stepping up and that’s what we needed. We have 14 or 15 new faces on this squad so we were going to have to have guys that stepped up.”
Though the process of coming to a new country for school certainly comes with its many challenges, Nascimben credits his teammates for providing a welcoming environment. Additionally, he mentioned that having so many others in the same position as him has really helped him out.
“I feel like the transition has been quite easy, to be honest with you. The boys have been instrumental in making sure that we all fit in and they were very welcoming from the start,” Nascimben said. “We’ve got a lot of international boys and all of us feel like a family. It’s amazing how fast the transition has been. It’s all been very positive.
“We can all relate to each other,” the freshman from Sydney, Australia continued. “We’re a very tight group. We all room together, all of us. It’s really fun to be together and always be there for each other.”
Nascimben finished Sunday’s match with six saves.
Duquesne (1-2) will return to action on Sept. 12 to take on Saint Francis (PA) at 7 p.m. The matchup at Arthur J. Rooney Athletic Field will provide another opportunity for Duquesne’s freshmen to impress, and gain valuable experience in the process.