BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech men’s soccer coach Mike Brizendine has announced that redshirt senior James Shupp and junior David Fiorello will be the Hokie’s team captains for the 2011 season. This is Fiorello’s second straight year wearing the captain’s armband for Tech and Shupp’s first year as captain.
“Captains are an extension of the coach and what he thinks,” said Brizendine. “With James and David, I think we have that. It’s important for us to have good leadership this year, with a large majority of our team being freshmen and sophomores.”
Shupp, a native of Downington, Pa., is the Hokies most experienced player, with 59 career appearances and 55 career starts to his credit. He redshirted the 2010 season and had two goals in 2009 as he was a starter in 14 matches. He started all 19 matches and led the 2008 team in minutes played with 1,764. The last remaining player from the Hokie’s 2007 College Cup team, Shupp started all 22 matches as a freshman that year and was named to the ACC All-Freshman team.
“James is a loose, light-hearted guy. But when the chips are down, he’s the guy that can bring the team back and I appreciate that,” said Brizendine. “He’s been around and been in a lot of big games. He was there with us in the Final Four in 2007. It will be tough to rattle him which is another reason why I like having him as a captain.”
Fiorello is a captain for the second year in a row after earning the honor as a sophomore last year, when he played in and started 18 games. As a freshman, the Elverson, Pa. native started 17 of the games he played in and was named team Rookie of the Year in 2009.
“David is a very disciplined young man and very serious about everything he does,” said Brizendine. “I really appreciate the way that he goes about his business."
Fans can see Shupp, Fiorello and the rest of the Hokies when Tech opens the regular season this Saturday, Aug. 27, when it hosts Howard University at 7 p.m., in the first five straight home games to open the 2011 season. The following weekend, Tech hosts the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational as the Hokies welcome Wisconsin, Cincinnati and Virginia to Blacksburg for games on Friday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 4. Virginia Tech plays Wisconsin at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 and Cincinnati at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 4.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).