Seeded sixth in the league's post season championship tournament, the Seahawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the second half to force overtime at third-seed James Madison. The Dukes, however, would advance to the semifinals with a goal in the 95th minute for a 4-3 win.
UNCW Returns To CAA Championship Tournament
Thomas Driver's goal just prior to halftime lifted the Seahawks to a 1-0 win and clinched a tournament berth for the Seahawks, who had missed the postseason tournament in 2010 and 2011.
The Seahawk roster featured 19 players who were freshman and sophomores in 2012. UNCW posted a 2.5 game improvement, finishing with a mark of 7-11-1 in 2012. In CAA action, the program improved by two games with a record of 4-6 and a spot in the CAA tournament.
Offense Emerges In 2012
After scoring just 20 games in 18 games in 2011, UNCW netted 27 in 18 games in 2012. Freshman Colin Bonner led the youth brigade with six goals, two assists and a team-leading 14 points. Upper classmen accounted for just two of the team's 27 goals. The Seahawks return 92.6% of their goals in 2013.
Colin Bonner tied for the league lead among conference rookies with 14 points. Bonner matched Hofstra's Joseph Holland with six goals and two assists.
Heaney Passes Milestone
Head Coach Aidan Heaney completed his 12th season with the program and passed the 100-wins mark with a 3-0 pasting of William & Mary in Williamsburg. Heaney owns a record of 102-106-23 in 12 seasons with the Seahawks. Overall, in 14 seasons as a head coach, he stands at 123-123-23.
Dell, Bonner Honored By CAA
Sophomore Jamie Dell and freshman Colin Bonner were honored by the league's coaches at the CAA Awards Banquet in Philadelphia. Dell, who finished second on the team with 12 points, earned first-team All-CAA honors while Bonner was named to the All-Rookie squad. Dell totaled his 12 points on career-high totals of four goals scored and four assists handed out.
Goodwin Impresses In Rookie Season
Freshman striker Nathaniel Goodwin gave the Seahawks added punch up front this season with four goals and three assists. After missing several games early due to an injury, Goodwin brought speed and vision to the offensive third, playing in 16 games.
The Seahawks played three teams that were selected to play in the 2012 College Cup. Old Dominion and Drexel earned at-large bids while Northeastern captured the CAA's automatic bid with a win in the conference tournament.
Regular Season RPI
UNCW finished the regular season with an RPI-ranking of 114. The Colonial boasted two teams in the top 25 and four in the top 50. Northeastern (21), Old Dominion (24), Drexel (31) and James Madison (49) were the top-50 entrants. NU was the highest RPI team the Seahawks played in 2012.
Colin Bonner was named CAA Rookie of the Week on Oct. 8 while Nathaniel Goodwin was tabbed by the league office with Rookie of the Week honors on Oct. 1.
UNCW finished fourth in the league averaging 454 people for nine home dates. Old Dominion lead the 11-team circuit with 825 per game (seven home games) followed by George Mason (566, 10 games) and James Madison (504, 10 games, new soccer venue). The Seahawks broke the 500 mark on three occasions: Saint Mary's (508), Duke (793) and James Madison (606).
Sophomore David Sizemore tied a UNCW tournament record with two goals against JMU in the CAA opening round game. The record was set in 2005 by Russell Biennes at VCU. UNCW's three goals also tied a school mark set in 1999 during a 3-2 win over George Mason. Freshman Sam Williams also set a school standard with 11 saves in the overtime setback.
Four Seahawk seniors completed their eligibility in 2012. Etienne Boulanger concluded his career with 75 games played, 13 goals and seven assists. His four helpers in 2012 were a career-high and tied for the team lead. Joining Boulanger as seniors were Michael Recchia, Thomas Driver and Gennaro Tecchia.