Canisius College men's soccer head coach Dermot McGrane announced the addition of three players to the Golden Griffin program on Wednesday. Chris Berardi, Alex De Carolis and Eric DeHond are all set to wear the Blue and Gold starting with the 2012 campaign.
"With only one graduating senior from last year and a large returning squad, our coaching staff had the luxury to focus on a small group of top quality players that will have an immediate impact on our team in 2012," McGrane said.
A three-year starter at Clarence High School, Berardi totaled 27 goals during his junior and senior seasons from the midfield. The Clarence, N.Y. native was named to the NSCAA All-Region II Team as well as earning first-team all-state accolades. Berardi is also a two-time All-Western New York First Team selection.
"It is our goal to have the top player in the area commit to Canisius College each year and once again, I feel that we have accomplished that with Chris," McGrane said. "Chris is a very technical player with a tremendous understanding of the game. This, combined with his speed and his desire to improve, will make him a success in our program. We are looking for Chris to make an immediate impact for us next season."
De Carolis played five seasons on defense at St. Christopher Catholic Secondary School. During his senior campaign, the Sarnia, Ontario native appeared in 15 games, totaling 12 goals - including the game-winning tally for the provincial championship - and six assists. Overall, he helped lead the Cyclones to a provincial championship, three regional titles and three city championships during his tenure.
"Alex is a tough left-sided defender, who likes to get into the attack," McGrane said. "He has a great left foot and makes good decisions with the ball. I expect Alex to help us immediately this year."
DeHond joins the Griffs after spending one season at Houghton College. The 6-foot-5 goalkeeper posted a 1.07 goals against average and .838 save percentage, while earning AMC Rookie of the Year accolades and first-team all-conference honors. Prior to the joining the Highlanders, DeHond spent two seasons at Penfield High School, collecting All-Greater Rochester honors and first-team all-county accolades.
"We are excited to have a quality keeper like Eric join our squad," McGrane said. "He has a huge frame, his distribution is outstanding and he is an excellent shot stopper. I feel that Eric has the potential to become a very high-level Division I goalkeeper."
Canisius returns nine starters from the 2011 squad under the direction of McGrane. A two-time MAAC Coach of the Year, McGrane will be in his second season leading the Golden Griffin program.