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NCAA Aug 02, 2021

Duquesne men’s soccer reveals nine-player recruiting class

PITTSBURGHDuquesne men’s soccer head coach Chase Brooks has announced the program’s 2021 recruiting class. The group of nine includes a pair of transfers as well as seven additional freshmen.

“Character is the first thing we look for in a Duquesne men’s soccer player and we are excited to add this group of young men to our family, as their character is fantastic,” said Brooks. “On top of the character they bring, this is a group of winners that love to compete and display the talent they possess. When you add these guys to the strong group of returners we have, it makes for a very exciting group of student-athletes.”

“This last year was a difficult one in terms of recruiting, I give my assistants a lot of credit for taking the time and being diligent with their communication and follow through,” Brooks continued.

Continue reading below for more information on each of Duquesne’s incoming recruits:

Luke Alese

Defender Midfielder
PA

• Played for District 6 Class 1A championship teams as a sophomore and junior.
• Scored over 50 goals in one season.
• Is the youngest of an alliterative family that includes brother Liam and sisters Lexi and London.
• Liam is a defender at Elizabethtown College and London played defender for Chatham University in Pittsburgh.
• Played with his brother, and for his father, Joe, at West Shamokin.
• Born on April 19, 2002 in Kittanning, Pa.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “Luke is a versatile, athletic player, with bite to his game. We believe he has the ability to fight for time from day one and are looking forward to having him in our program.”

Ben Bacdayan

Midfielder
PA

• Was a Class AAAA all-WPIAL and all-conference pick for section champion Upper St. Clair.
• Earned a spot on the 2020 PA Big 56 All-Section First Team.
• Served as a senior tri-captain for the Panthers.
• National Honor Society student at USC.
• Has traveled to over 10 countries.
• Also played lacrosse as a youth.
• Born June 29, 2002 in Pittsburgh.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “Ben is the definition of work ethic and character. I believe he is going to be a big part of our program both on and off the field and look forward to working with him.”

Oscar Blazer

Defender
IL

• Was a four-year starter for teams that won a pair of conference championships.
• Part of a Club National League championship team in 2019-20.
• Is the oldest of four.
• His father, Craig, who played goalkeeper at Xavier, was the head coach at DePaul for 17 seasons (2001-17).
• Born on December 9, 2002 in Chicago.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “Oscar is a hardworking, defensive-minded player. He has a great soccer IQ and high character. We are looking forward to having him join our program.”

Harper Cook

Midfielder
PA

• Saw action in 12 of a possible 25 games in two seasons at American.
• Played in eight of 16 matches as a freshman.
• Appeared in four of nine games – with starts vs. Lehigh (career high 66 minutes) and at Loyola, Md. for AU’s 4-2-3 2020-21 Patriot League championship team.
• The 2020-21 American team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and was among those receiving votes in the final United Soccer Coaches Top 25
• Committed to Rutgers out of high school, prior to a Scarlet Knights coaching change.
• Also considered Pitt, Colgate, Lafayette and St. John’s before enrolling at American.
• Played for Columbus Crew Academy early in his high school career.
• Was a Riverhounds Academy teammate of DU’s Nate Dragisich.
• Was a All-WPIAL and two-time all-section player at Hampton.
• Captained both the soccer and lacrosse teams and also served as the placekicker for the football team at Hampton.
• Born on January 5, 2001.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “We are delighted that Harper has chosen to come back home. He has been a part of a solid program and gained valuable experience that will allow him to step in here at Duquesne and help us achieve our goals.”

Jayden Da

Forward
MD

• Transfer from nearby Division III Washington & Jefferson College (Washington, Pa.).
• Was named Presidents’ Athletic Conference Player and Newcomer of the Year after leading the PAC in points (17) and assists (5) in 2020-21.
• Helped the Presidents to an 8-2-1 record and PAC Championship.
• His six goals – three of which were game-winners – tied for second-most in the conference.
• Recorded a point in eight of W&J’s 11 games, including each of the first six games of the season.
• His golden goal in double overtime handed Geneva its lone loss of the regular season.
• Was team captain at Richard Montgomery HS.
• Lived in West Africa for eight years as a youth.
• Born on April 8, 2002 in Boston.

Head coach Chase Brooks:“Jayden is a player with a ton of potential. He has the size, technique, and athleticism that will cause opponents a lot of problems. He gained a lot of quality experience this past year. We are happy he will joining us this fall and look forward to helping him reach his full potential.”

Jack Emanuel

Defender
PA

• Played for four consecutive District 10 championship teams (2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020).
• Was named 2020 District 10 Player of the Year.
• Played volleyball as a freshman and sophomore.
• Born on May 31, 2002 in Erie, Pa.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “Jack has the tools to become one of the best defenders in the conference. His confidence and character stood out to us from the first day we saw him play and got to know him. We are looking forward to seeing him on Rooney for years to come.”

Liam Giffin

Forward
MD

• Played for three-straight State Cup championship teams.
• Part of Club teams that made back-to-back Nationals appearances.
• Named two-time all-state.
• Earned a spot on the 2018 USYS Best XI.
• Also played basketball up until eighth grade.
• Is an avid football, basketball and baseball fan.
• Born on August 2, 2001 in Potomac, Md.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “We are excited Liam will be on the Bluff this fall with us. His work ethic, size and strength are going to make him a handful for defenders at this level.”

Jordan Livits

Midfielder Forward
OH

• Team captain named 2020 First Team Division III All-District by the Central Ohio Soccer Coaches Association (COSCA).
• Also earned All-Region honors as a senior when he had 12 goals and a pair of assists in seven games.
• Had 15 goals and a school-record 19 assists in helping the Wellington School to an 18-2-3 record and Division III state title as a junior in 2019.
• The 2019 team, which secured Wellington’s first state title, outscored opponents 40-0 in postseason play.
• Played for Crew SC Academy, Club Ohio, Cup Gold and FC Columbus.
• Was part of a Club Ohio team that advanced to Nationals in 2018.
• Speaks fluent Russian.
• Has traveled to Europe over 20 times.
• Played tennis as well as soccer until the age of 10.
• Born on September 26, 2002 in Columbus, Ohio.

Head coach Chase Brooks: 
“Jordan is a dynamic, exciting, attack-minded player. He is a player that is used to winning and has great potential at this level. We are looking forward to working with him and pushing him to be the best he can be.”

Trent McConnaughey

Goalkeeper
OH

• Helped Club Ohio to a pair of state championships.
• Was also part of Club Ohio Regional, MRL and GLC Championship teams.
• Earned a spot on the USYS Great Lakes Conference Best XI.
• Was a four-year varsity player at Dublin Coffman.
• Two-time second team All-OCC pick.
• Also played lacrosse and basketball as a youth.
• Born on March 9, 2002 in Dublin, Ohio.

Head coach Chase Brooks: “Trent has the size, athleticism, and work rate to become a top notch keeper in our conference. We are excited to get him in our environment and have him compete against our strong group of goalkeepers already here at Duquesne.”

Featured Players

Midfielder, Defender
Midfielder, Defender
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