Hamilton is on the cusp of returning to the postseason as five of the Continentals' eight losses in 2012 were by one goal. On offense, Abbott and Nizzi should receive help from John McGuinnis '16, Erich Marcks '16 and Bayard Geeslin '16. All three scored at least one goal last year as freshmen. In goal, the 6-foot, 3-inch Porges appeared in four games last season, and made 12 saves in 135-plus minutes.
Before departing the Liberty League at the end of 2010, Hamilton made the league championship for the eighth time in nine years. The Continentals claimed two tournament championships (2004, 2007) and a pair of regular season titles (2000, 2006). Both tournament championship crowns were clinched against St. Lawrence University on the regional powerhouse's home field. Hamilton was a league member from 1995 to 2010.
Hamilton finished 2010 with an overall record of 9-3-3, and was a Liberty League championship semifinalist. Frank Campagnano '12 made the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) East Region All-Region first team at midfield. Nizzi was voted rookie of the year in the Liberty League and on the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro/Upstate team.
Just two men have coached the men's soccer team since 1959. Current head coach Perry Nizzi is in his 16th year with the Continentals. Nizzi guided the team to NCAA championship appearances in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2007. He picked up his 100th victory at Hamilton in 2008 and has a total of 133 going into 2013. Manfred von Schiller won 227 games from 1959 to 1997, and led Hamilton to four ECAC tournaments. The Continentals won the ECAC championship in 1979 and finished with a record of 12-1-1.
Hamilton's defense led the way in 2007, when the Continentals made their last trip to the NCAA championship. The team didn't allow a single goal in the first five games as they went 3-0-2. Hamilton enjoyed an amazing 8-3-0 record away from home, including three wins in four postseason contests. The Continentals edged Union College in the league championship semifinals and then defeated host St. Lawrence in the title game, which was the second time in two weeks the Saints fell to Hamilton at home.
Hamilton drew 2006 national semifinalist New York University in the first round of NCAAs. Undaunted, the Continentals recorded their 10th shutout in a 2-0 win. The victory was Hamilton's first in NCAA play since 2000. New Jersey City University ended the Continentals' season the following night, but it was a memorable postseason run for a Hamilton team that won just half of its 14 regular season contests. The Continentals ended the year with a record of 10-5-3 -- the seventh time that decade they recorded double-digit victories.
Hamilton reached the quarterfinals in the program's first-ever NCAA appearance in 2000 after finishing first in the league with a 6-1-0 record. The Continentals advanced past SUNY Plattsburgh on penalty kicks and defeated St. Lawrence in regional action. Hamilton hosted Messiah College in the quarters but lost to the eventual national champions.
The Continentals have made a total of 13 postseason appearances. The 1979 team ended up 12-1-1, which is the best record in the program's history, and defeated SUNY Fredonia in the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Upstate Region championship game. The 12 wins in a season have since been duplicated twice (1994 and 2001), and still stand as the team record.
Hamilton has won more than 400 games since it first fielded a varsity men's soccer program in 1920, and there have been plenty of individual stars. Three players, including the incomparable Greg Rogan '07 in 2006, have received All-America honors. Donald McCouch '64 (in 1962) and Phillip Hills Jr. '53 (in 1951) are the others. Rogan holds the team record for most goals in a career with 30 and most career points with 72. Hills led the Continentals to a 5-1-0 season. At that time, the five wins were a program record. Twelve different athletes have earned a total of 15 all-region selections from the NSCAA in the last 12 years, including Campagnano and Jesse Arroyave '11 in 2010.
Exceptional academic performance is an important piece of the men's soccer program. Five players earned a spot on the 2012 NESCAC Fall All-Academic Team. Each honoree has a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35 and must have reached sophomore academic standing at his institution. Marcus Dormanen '10 was voted to the 2009 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District men's soccer first team. Dormanen was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, which is the nation's oldest honor society, in 2010.