July 18, 2011

Suzuki ’00, Iveljic ’99 Earn USASA National Titles

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Current Yale assistant coach Hiro Suzuki '00 and former player Mario Iveljic '99 both won United States Adult Soccer Association national titles over the weekend in Bowling Green, Ky. Suzuki's San Diego Surf captured the Men's Over 30 Cup and Iveljic's RWB Adria (Illinois) team won the Men's Amateur Cup.

Suzuki, who was named an assistant coach at Yale in June, assisted on San Diego's second goal in a 3-0 victory over United SC (DC/Virginia). San Diego won the regional tournament in early June and then beat the Royal Eagles Kicker (Florida) to advance to the championship game.

"There are many reasons why I still play at a competitive level," said Suzuki, who captained the 1999 Bulldogs to a school-record 13 wins. "Most importantly, I enjoy the game, much like when I first started playing when I was five years old. Most of my teammates and I played at the collegiate or professional level so we seek to play against competitive teams. I have also found that playing soccer helps me as a coach because it crystallizes certain strategic/tactical concepts and keeps me in touch with the players' prospective."

Suzuki played a key role in one of the most successful stretches in the long history of Yale Soccer. During his four years, the Bulldogs won 44 games, including posting a 17-9-2 mark in Ivy League play. As a senior, he helped Yale to a thrilling victory over Rutgers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. He was a second team All-Ivy selection as a sophomore and senior and earned first team recognition in his junior year. In all, he started 65 games for the Bulldogs, scored 10 goals and added 15 assists.

Iveljic's RWB Adria's team had a more dramatic championship match, edging PSA Elite (California South) 3-2. RWB Adria had beaten Mass Premier Soccer 3-1 in the semifinals.

Iveljic was a three-year letterwinner for Yale. He played in 46 games and had one goal and two assists.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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