Westwood, MA – Freshman forward Filippo Marcantoni (Ponti sul Mincio, Italy) garnered WPI men's soccer third-ever NEWMAC Rookie of the Year award in voting by the conference coaches announced today. Junior forward Franco Bazzini (San Juan, PR) was named to the league's first team in addition to senior backs Mike Biando (Atlanta, GA) and Evan Hallberg (Glocester, RI) notching second team selections.
Marcantoni played in all but one contest for the Engineers this season tallying four goals on just 14 shots, nine of which on target for a .643 shot-on-goal percentage. The first-year forward registered five starts throughout the season, including the final regular-season contest at MIT where the forward was perfect with two shots resulting in two goals. The pair of goals scored by Marcantoni forced overtime play versus the hosting Engineers, which led to an upset over MIT to clinch the fifth and final spot in the NEWMAC Men's Soccer tournament and propelled WPI to the top spot in the NCAA Division III Region II rankings.
Bazzini played in every contest for the Engineers totaling seven of the team's 30 goals, ranking fourth in the NEWMAC for the season as he earns a spot on the NEWMAC all-conference first team. In the first three games of the season, the forward registered game-winning goals, including a thrilling-overtime mark over Brandeis to secure the victory.
Bazzini sits second in league total points with 18 on 39 shots with 22 reaching frame calculating a .564 shot-on-goal mark with six game-winners. The most recent game-winning goal by Bazzini came in overtime at MIT in the final matchup of the regular season that propelled the Engineers to a NEWMAC Men's Soccer Tournament berth.
Biando and Hallberg both garner second-team accolades as they collectively held the backline together for the Crimson and Gray. Biando and Hallberg each started in 15 games for WPI contributing to the 0.90 goals-against average and seven total shutouts this season for the program. Biando marks another second-team nod after his first concluding the 2019 season while Hallberg, who was WPI Athletics Male Freshman of the Year after the 2018 season, made a successful comeback after missing the 2019 campaign due to injury and the cancellation of the 2020 season due to COVID.
The WPI men's soccer crew saw the season come to a finish at Coast Guard in the 2021 NEWMAC Men's Soccer quarterfinal as WPI finished the season 10-5-3 overall with a 6-2-1 record while at Alumni Field.