Mike Mazzullo Named First Three-Time Captain of Columbia Men's Soccer Program
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

NEW YORK - Rising senior men's soccer player Mike Mazzullo has been named team captain for the third consecutive season, head coach Kevin Anderson announced recently.

With the honor, Mazzullo becomes the first player in the program's modern era (1957-present) to be named captain three times in a career.

"Maz is truly special in every facet of his life -- as a son, teammate, friend and leader," Anderson says. "You hear the cliché from coaches all the time that 'a team leader picks itself' - that motto could not be more true than in this instance."

An honorable mention All-Ivy League selection as a junior, Mazzullo started all 17 matches for the Lions in the midfield and recorded a goal and an assist. His header goal against Seton Hall capped a thrilling second-half comeback that ignited a three-match winning streak in late September.

The Yonkers, N.Y. native accumulated a team-high 1,578 minutes played in 2010, and has started in 48 of the 50 matches that he has played in his career.

Mazzullo, who will play with the Premier Development League's Jersey Express with teammate Will Stamatis this summer, is eager to begin his senior season at Columbia.

"I can't wait for next year to start," Mazzullo says. "I feel that it's our time to put our experience and talent together for a successful season. With eight seniors, and underclassmen that can really contribute on the field, I sense that we've matured as a team and can build on our undefeated spring season."

The Lions, who downed Southern Connecticut State and Fordham in two matches in April, will open their 2011 campaign in early September. A full men's soccer schedule will be released in the coming weeks.