July 1, 2008
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale men's soccer coach Brian Tompkins will welcome eight freshmen to New Haven this fall. The members of the Class of 2012 come from as close as Avon, Conn., and as far as Bend, Ore.
"This is a solid class that we think will help address some of the most pressing tactical needs from last season," Tompkins said. "They are a talented group, and once they settle in I expect they will make a big impact."
Here is a closer look at the Class of 2012:
Sam Bekenstein M/F 5-9 165 Wayland, MA Wayland HS
Three-time Dual County League all-star at Wayland High School... Team captain as a junior and senior... Helped lead team to the Eastern Massachusetts finals in his freshman year and to the semifinals as a sophomore... Played club soccer for FC Greater Boston, which won the state championship in 2003... Father, Joshua, is a 1980 Yale graduate and played lacrosse.
"I selected Yale because I know it will be a challenge. I also was impressed with its storied past and great academics."
Matt Chesky GK 6-2 190 Holyoke, MA Deerfield Academy
Recorded 13 shutouts in his last two seasons at Deerfield Academy... Had a 0.94 goals against average in 2007... Named All-New England Prep School Soccer Association as a senior... A two-time All-Western New England Prep School selection... Helped lead the team to an 8-3-6 overall record as a senior... Played club soccer for Western United... Served as the team captain in 2007... Team finished second in the Oakwood Premier Invitational in 2007... President of the Deerfield Academy chapter of China Cares, which raised more than $10,000 to fund emergency surgeries and care for orphans in China.
"I'm excited to attend Yale because it offers me a unique opportunity to attend one of the best colleges in the country while playing for a nationally competitive soccer program. The coaching staff at Yale is one of the best out there. For me, having a goalkeeper coach like Coach Kostelis is something that not many schools can offer."
Chris Dennen F/M 6-1 170 Bronxville, NY Bronxville HS
Bronxville High School's all-time assists leader with 66... Named all-state as a senior... Four-time all-league selection... Chosen all-section three times... Two-time team most valuable player... Led the section in assists as a senior... Scored 15 goals and added 22 assists in 2007... Finished his career with 44 goals... Helped lead Bronxville to two league titles... Team reached Section 1 finals in 2006 and 2007... Played club soccer for the Yonkers United Tornadoes, which won the 2007 State Cup and captured the 2006 Dublin Cup... Captained the Bronxville basketball team and earned all-league honors.
"Yale will provide me with vast intellectual opportunities, as well as allowing me to be part of a great athletic program. I am excited about everything the Yale community has to offer. Additionally, the players are a great group of guys, and I look forward to playing for Coach Tompkins."
Marcus DiLallo D 6-2 185 Wellington, FL Wellington HS
The 2008 Palm Beach County Player of the Year at Wellington High School... A two-time first team all-state selection... Three-time all-county and all-conference selection... Four-year varsity starter... Named team MVP as a senior... Two-time team Defensive MVP...Holds school record for most career games (110), starts (108) and wins (90)... Scored six goals and added 24 assists in his career... Named an NSCAA Adidas Scholar All-American as a senior... Wellington was a four-time district champion, reached the state final in 2007 and had two undefeated regular seasons during his career... Team captain for the Wellington Wave Soccer Club, which reached the Florida State Cup semifinals in 2008... Older brother Matt is a punter for the University of Colorado football team.
"Yale offers a world class education as well as a strong Division I soccer program. Coach Tompkins seems like a great guy, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the guys over the next four years. I also heard New Haven has some of the best pizza in the country."
Andy Hackbarth M/D 6-1 185 Bend, OR Summit HS
A first team all-state selection as a senior at Summit High School... Earned all-league honors in each of his four years, including two first team selections... Scored 13 goals and added 12 assists as a senior... Finished his career with 28 goals and 38 assists... Summit qualified for the state playoffs in each of his four years... Plays club soccer for the Westside Metro Gunners, which won two state championships and is a two-time regional semi-finalist... Traveled to England, Denmark and Germany with club team and played youth teams of top professional clubs... A nationally ranked alpine ski racer before deciding to focus on soccer.
"Yale offers an unmatched combination of athletics and academics. I also felt comfortable from the moment I stepped onto the campus."
Joseph Mensah D 5-11 165 Avon, CT Phillips Academy
A three-year letterwinner at Phillips Academy... Scored two goals and added five assists as a senior... Assistant captain in his senior year... Phillips Academy was in the top 10 in New England Prep School Soccer in all three of his years... Played for the Oakwood Soccer Club... A former Connecticut ODP state team player... Father, Joseph, is a 1979 Yale graduate and was a four-year letterwinner for the men's soccer team.
"For me, Yale has it all - great academics, tradition and prestige. I was also attracted to its excellent location and symbiotic relationship with the city of New Haven. Moreover, it has always been my dream to continue the family tradition of Yale men's soccer players."
Charlie Neil M/F 6-4 190 Dallas, TX St Mark's School
Holds the St. Mark's School of Texas career goals record with 76... Led the team in scoring three straight seasons... Four-time all-conference selection... Team captain... Named team MVP as a senior... Scored 27 goals as a senior... Finished his career with 33 assists and 185 points... St. Mark's was the Southwest Preparatory Conference runner-up in 2008, losing the championship game on penalty kicks... Played club soccer for Comets 90 Blue from 2004-08... Team was two-time Disney Soccer Showcase champions... In addition, played for Solar 90 Red... Will also play baseball at Yale... Father, Jim, is a 1976 Yale graduate and also played both soccer and baseball... Older brother, Trip, played soccer at Johns Hopkins.
"I chose Yale because of the opportunities that it presents. Yale is a place where I can achieve my goals and raise my expectations for the future. It provides a unique balance of academic challenges along with the demand of Division I athletics."
Charlie Paris F 6-4 185 Venice, CA Santa Monica HS
A first team All-CIF selection in 2008 at Santa Monica High School...Named first team All-Ocean League as a senior... Chosen as team's 2008 Offensive Player of the Year... Led team in scoring with 19 goals, four assists and 42 points as a senior... Scored 23 goals and added eight assists in his career... Helped lead Santa Monica to the first undefeated season (29-0-1) in school history... Team won CIF and California state championships and was nationally ranked... Played for City Soccer Club, Galaxy Alliance and most recently the Santa Monica United Scorpions, which was the 2008 State Cup champions... Identical twin brother, Robbie, will be a freshman at Harvard and will compete on the track and field team.
"Part of why I selected Yale was because my parents went there, but a larger part has to do with the exceptional quality of the school. I was definitely looking for a small liberal arts school, and Yale encompasses the perfect blend of the small, East Coast college experience that I think will be a great growing environment for me. I'm really excited for what Yale has in store for me and even more excited to play soccer at the Division I level."
Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity