Southern New Hampshire, picked second in the Northeast-10 preseason coaches’ poll, faces a formidable challenge ahead of the 2017 season: replacing All-Conference performers Rayane Boukemia, Tobias Esche and Yannis Becker.
Step in Claude Diesse, a junior midfielder with the potential to keep the Penmen near the top of the Division 2 soccer world, make the NCAA tournament for 10 years running and mitigate the blow of losing the aforementioned trio. The main reason for that is Diesse, a Quebec, Canada, native, made major strides a season ago.
Often shielding SNHU’s back line, Diesse was one of four players to start all 19 games in 2016, tallying once against Bentley along the way. Though he had only one goal and no assists, Diesse was named to the NE-10 All-Conference second team. Such a strong showing, however, should’ve come as no surprise. Diesse started in nine games as a freshman and picked up two goals and two assists, placing him on the NE-10 All-Rookie team.