Men’s Soccer Hosting ECAC’s This Weekend…

This is my first blog in a little over a week after our two heartbreaking loses to Coast Guard in double overtime off a set piece. I’ve been up to my neck in homework and trying to reflect upon the season as a whole. This year we have broken a number of records and have helped the program continue to grow. First however, it is important to acknowledge some individual honors; I want to congratulate Ryan Malone, Drew Vanasse, Danny Amato and myself for being named all-conference, tying the most players selected in program history. I also want to congratulate John Mankus for being selected to the New England senior all-star game, an honor he truly deserves.

I believe it is really important to thank the Athletic Training staff for all they have done for us this year. I know at times throughout the season half our team would be in there with some sort of injury and you took us in with a smile. All of you were able to fix us up and get us playing again within a couple days. I know for me personally, without them I do not know how I’d be able to walk by the end of the season. Thank you for all you have done for us this year, the team really appreciates it.

Finally, hosting ECAC’s this weekend and being the number one seed is going to a great way to end the season. The record among the final four ECAC teams is 53-17-10. That proves how good the competition will be and how close every team was this year.

Throughout the year we played some amazing soccer and just got a bit unlucky at times to not make the NEWMAC finals for the third straight year. As Fowler said when we heard the news, “the fortune favors the deserving” and I believe that we have put in the effort and hard work all season long to deserve being the top seed this weekend. Whatever happens this weekend, we as a team have grown enormously from preseason until now. We have created some memories that could never be replaced. Only two games separate us from becoming ECAC champions and I know we are going to send the seniors out with a win at home to end their college careers.

Well that got pretty emotional real quick… I hope you’re ready for this weekend and the Pirate Flag nation will be out in full support on Saturday at 12! Play like a champion.

Senior Day on Saturday…

Drew Vanasse controls the ball against MIT last week. The Pride forced overtime with the Engineers.

Saturday’s game against MIT showed us that we can compete with any team in all of Division III. Coming back from being down 3-1 against a team like that showed the true spirit of the team. Although losing in overtime is a tough way to end the game, it will only motivate us more when we see them again in the conference tournament.

Wednesday, we played one of our last home games of the season and finished it exactly how we finished all of the other ones, with a victory and a shutout. That shutout tied us for the most in D-III program history so make sure you take a minute out of your day and congratulate the guys for the achievement.

Off the field, the team is entertaining as usual. With this team, there is never a dull moment. Whether we are at Cheney, in the locker room, or just hanging out as a team, everyone is laughing and having a good time. Drew Vanasse is a comedian in his own right, and a number of players provide constant entertainment without even trying. This will be key moving forward into the season because if we can laugh and continue to be close off the field, our chemistry on the field will only get better.

This Saturday is our last regular season game against conference opponent Coast Guard. It’s senior day and we need everyone out in full support for not only the seniors but to also give us the necessary three points we need in conference.  Winning this one for our seniors is a must because what they have done for Springfield soccer as a whole is very difficult to put into words.

Finals Rematch with MIT on Saturday…

Saturday’s game against Babson reminded the upperclassmen a lot about last year’s season. We dominated the entire second half but it seemed like every shot we took would either hit the post or be cleared off the line. Just an inch here or there and the ball would have went in the back of the net. Babson is a tough opponent but we want to meet them in the conference tournament because we know we will be even better at that point.

After Babson, we had to regroup quickly as we traveled to take on a tough Keene State squad. We hadn’t won there since 1989. This season continues to prove how special this group is. On a cold October night in New Hampshire our team went out and played great in an extremely physical game. Beating Keene State was the momentum we needed as we host a very good MIT team this weekend. I know that all the returners circled this game during preseason because we want to avenge our loss in the finals last year. MIT is a very good team but I am confident in us going out there and playing a great game. We continue to improve each day and I don’t think any team would want to face us at the moment.

Academically, you can see a number of students running around campus stressed and anxious about midterms and trying to manage their time affectively. I believe that coach has prepared all of us for juggling the difficulties of playing a sport and getting above a 3.0 GPA. Speaking of midterms, I don’t mean to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I did well on all of them …on second thought, I won’t hold my breath on them.

Big game coming up this weekend when we host MIT at 1 o’clock on Saturday… We will need all the support we can get because getting a positive result is the key. I hope to see all the Maroon Massive and Pirate flag support out to help us continue to play well at home!

Getting mentally stronger…

This really is turning into a special year for our team. Beating WPI 4-1 at home was exactly what we need going forward for our toughest part of the seasoan yet. I want to congratulate a number of guys on the team for earning awards, whether it is maroon athlete of the week or NEWMAC player of the week, they deserve it. All the guys know that it is truly a team effort and when one guy wins an award, he knows it is an award for the team. Although we have performed extremely well of late we know that we need at least two more points in conference-play and there are still a number of things we can improve on.

This is the time of year that most teams are complacent with where they are at and their practices are just relaxing and staying healthy. Well our team is very different. This is the time of year that we work harder and improve even more. As a team we have decided to read a book  and work even harder to be tactically prepared. We know that this could be a special year for us and we want to know we did everything we could to succeed. Everyone has heard the saying that soccer is 90% mental; well we want to get even stronger mentally and have the right mindset throughout the games. By reading we can continue to work hard and improve as well as being one step ahead of our opponents.

In other news, midterm testing is underway in some classes and over in others, and so far I am happy with the results. I managed to keep my head in the books and in the library, just long enough to pull out some good grades. With my attention span… the library is my only option.

Saturday is one of our biggest games of the season. Whenever we play Babson it is a battle and we circle that date every year at the start of the season. We know that this will be a hard fought game and we cannot wait.

Clicking on all Cylinders…

I have recently been drowning in my homework and this happens to be my first blog in a little over a week. The season is really starting to take off with some huge conference games coming up so be sure to continue checking in so you aren’t missing any excitement from the blog!

As far as the games go, everything has been clicking the past three games. Last Saturday, in our first conference home game against Clark we made sure the rest of the league knew we were ready to play. Ryan Malone scored within the first five minutes of the game to set the tempo and everyone followed through from there. A unique thing about our team is that we know if we score just one goal we have a really high chance of winning because our defense has been so solid all year long.

Last night we played a hard fought non-conference game against Framingham State. Framingham State has given us trouble over the last two years but this year we were not going to let that happen, beating them 4-0. It was a good win for the guys who have been here a couple years. Overall, the team was clicking on all cylinders and we are really showing everyone that we continuing to get better each game we play.

Off the field the team is in high spirits and it seems like we cannot get enough of each other. The team seems to keep getting closer and closer as the season moves on; even a little too close in some cases…

We as a team continue to improve and get better each and every day because of how much time we and the coaching staff put in. I know for a fact that our team would not be as successful as we have been this year without the commitment from our coaches. They stay up all night long getting video and practices ready for us to improve. The team has video sessions almost every day which allows us to pick out certain things that we really want to focus on for the upcoming practices. Our success so far has been a joint effort from the coaches and players alike. Everyone’s desire to continue to improve and not get complacent is what will carry us further into the season.

We have a huge conference game against WPI at home this Saturday at 1:00 p.m. I hope to see the entire Maroon Massive and Pirate Flag crew there helping us to continue to love playing at home. It should be a great game with food and drinks afterward! Enjoy your Columbus Day weekend, see you Saturday!

Springfield Beats Regionally-Ranked WNE, Ready For Clark

I could write pages and pages about playing our cross street rival Western New England University, but for the readers sake I will keep it short. Since the beginning of the season we have had that game circled on our calendars, especially with it being home and under the lights. We as a team came out fired up and knew that WNE was going to have a great game to match us.

After only a couple minutes we were rewarded with Malone’s goal and then Danny followed up with his trademark run to the back post waiting for the cross to come in. Giving our team a 2-0 lead in the first half is deadly because our defense has been so solid all season and they would have to do something magically to score 2 against us.

The game ended with a 2-1 victory and we could not have been happier. As Fowler put it, “Springfield is painted maroon again”. This game was huge to see where we were compared to a top team in the region and how much we have already improved since the start of the season.

Overall, coach was proud of us, but even though we won there are many things we can work and improve on. There are still a number of games left in the season and we know that we must continue to work hard and improve for when the conference tournament rolls around in November.

Although my classes are not nearly as intense as last year’s modules, I am still trying my best to focus on homework and not playing too much FIFA with the guys. I want to congratulate a number of the guys on the team for their continued dedication to school work. A prime example is our freshmen and others who are in the library every night working. I know for a fact that for 2 (or more) hours a night, several times a week, they go to the library after dinner and do work together. It is impressive because managing our team with school work can be very difficult at times. Keep up the good work guys; you will see it pay off.

We have a huge conference game home this Saturday against Clark at 2:30 and then on Sunday we travel to Elms. Hopefully the Pirate Flag and the entire Maroon Massive will be out in full support again to push us to another victory. See you Saturday!

 

Time To Reflect…

As I predicted, our first conference game of the season was highly competitive and the game could have gone in either direction. Unfortunately for this one, the bounces did not go our way. We hit the post multiple times and just could not find the break through. The hard fought game ended with a 1-0 loss to Wheaton. After the game everyone, we were all  a little upset because we knew we had them and we could have beaten a top regional team.

We could not dwell on the loss to much because two days later we made the long trip to Endicott. The game as expected was a battle in which neither team wanted to lose. Early in the second half we broke through with a clinical Malone finish on our way to a 1-0 win. Over the last two years, the games following Endicott haven proven to be a turning points in our season. Last year, we rattled off seven straight wins following the Endicott game. This year, I knew many of us want to continue those results and make that Endicott game a statement for our season.

Overall, the team is in high spirits and we cannot get enough of each other. Whether we are on the field, in Cheney, in the library, or simply hanging out in the dorms we continually make each other laugh and truly love being around each other. I know I’ve said this before, especially during preseason, but our team is truly unlike any other. If you talk to one of the guys about our team, each one will simply smile and tell you we are brothers that happen to be the best looking team on campus. School is becoming the norm and I am afraid everyone’s grades might suffer with the recent release of FIFA 14. We all know the focus will be more on that then school work (sorry mom and dad I promise I’ll keep my grades up).

Finally, we celebrated our Humanics in Action by talking to high school students about the importance of secondary education in a local Springfield high school. This was a truly eye opening experience. We went into the school hoping to help change their lives, and wanted to let them know that there is in fact a life after high school.

For most of us, it was us he ended up benefiting from the conversations; we need to practice what we preach. There is no difference between us slacking off and the students we talked to slacking off. As someone on the team put it best, we are no different than they are, we just got lucky with our parents and how we grew up. As Mo said, we all start at the same place, some of us may have extra help along the way but unless you use that help there is no difference between us.

The major theme that everyone got out of the session is that you should never “bum” it out, as coach would put it. “Bumming it”, is not making the most of the opportunities that are presented to you. It goes back to our words and sayings we made up at East Campus and the Mindset book we presented during preseason.

They impacted us more then we even realized. They showed us the struggles they have gone through at such a young age, and we shared each others stories about our upbringing. We learned that as important as soccer seems to us, sometimes it is important to be reminded how fortunate we are to even go to school and play soccer with few other worries.

Wow, it feels like I’m turning into Fowler – that was far too much sappy writing for one night. We travel for our second conference game of the season against Emerson this Saturday and then have a huge home night game against Western New England on Tuesday where we need the Pirate Flag and the entire Maroon Massive out in full support to push us to victory.  Enjoy the weekend everyone!

 

 

 

It’s All About the Team…

Well our extended “preseason” ended after our well-deserved victory against Western Connecticut on Sunday. That win gave us a 4-1 start to the season in which we outscored our oppositions 12 to 3. As a team, we have seven players who have scored and nine who have tallied assists. This shows everyone that we are winning as a team. Everyone is contributing and we are really firing on all cylinders, but know that a huge conference showdown against Wheaton waits this Saturday, in which we need to be at our very best.

Something very unique about our team is the way we celebrate our goals and successes on and off the field. Unlike most teams, after one of our teammates scores a goal, you’ll see everyone sprinting to them and celebrating like that person had just won the championship for us.

It does not matter whether it is the first goal of the game or the fourth we celebrate each one with the same energy and excitement. Off the field if one person succeeds it feels like the whole team does. Talking about two members who won awards this week, I want to congratulate Scott Saucier and Ryan Malone for being honored with awards this week. Sauce won Maroon Club Athlete of the Week for his leadership and having a hand in just about every goal we scored this weekend! Malone won NEWMAC Defensive Player of the Week for not only helping us keep two shutouts but also scoring the first goal of the game on Saturday. Both these guys deserve the awards and achievements they obtain, but without this team behind them none of it would be possible. Make sure you congratulate both on their achievements because it really is a huge honor.

School days are becoming routine as professors are beginning to place more expectations upon us. It’s starting to get dangerously close to that first test popping up, and starting off strong is an important step for succeeding the rest of the year. As I plan to conquer my first test, I know that the rest of the team will do the same in their various classes.

Finally, thank you to the pirate flag crew and all the other fans that showed up for our games this past weekend. As I said before, your energy and support for us is second to none and without you, game days wouldn’t be the same. Until next time, keep it classy Springfield College…

Back into the swing of things…

Since the last blog we have continued with our 6 a.m. practices every morning with Coach Shawn as well as our video and training sessions in the evening.

We’ve played three tough non-conference games in which have really controlled the tempo of play. Although we outshot the three teams, we currently own a 2-1 record. Our lone loss this season came against Nichols and in the game, we proved to ourselves that we can overcome adversity and nearly scored the equalizer at the end. This will help our team moving forward, as  even when things do not go our way, we can still out work and outwork our opponents.

Wednesday night’s win against Eastern Nazarene proved to be monumental to one individual on our team. Ryan Malone was playing in his first home game in nearly two years after being out injured for some time. Moments upon entering the game, Malone scored our first goal of the game, and I know for a number of people, it was great to see him back healthy again! Danny Amato then went ahead on topped Malone with his trademark free kick from 25 yards out to win the game.

I want to thank all the pirate flag members as well as the rest of the fans who attended. Believe it or not it really helps us play better and gives us energy to go throughout the entire game! This win will carry us to our double header this weekend and we can’t wait to see all of you out there again!

Off the field, classes are really going to start picking up this week and it is tough to adjust to homework again. Don’t worry Dad I’ll get into school mode eventually! As a team, one of our goals is to have the highest GPA for male teams on campus. To ensure this goal we have mandatory study hall Sunday’s at 7:00 and have to be in the library for eight hours throughout the week. While I continue to agree with the wide spread rumors that we are the best looking team on campus, it is necessary to be well rounded, so we take our academics very seriously.

Remember, two huge games on Saturday and Sunday this weekend! I expect all of you to be out in full support cheering us to victory. Keep it classy Springfield College…

 

Preseason ends, SC ready for the regular season

Wednesday, September 4th:

With preseason ending, I think I can speak for everyone involved with SC soccer in saying that we were the hardest working team in the entire nation. No other team was up at 5 a.m. for fitness and then continues to be with each other until 10 p.m. every day throughout preseason.

The team has bonded effortlessly as we have all gotten to know each other like brothers. It is in this manner that the men’s soccer team of Springfield College embodies the “family” tradition that the school has become known for. The team chemistry has been very high and will continue to grow during the season. The whole team is really appreciative of everything the coaches have done in order to give us time to bond as a family on and off the field.

This coming weekend is the “start” of our season. We play Mitchell away on Friday and then again travel to Nichols on Saturday. After the long hot preseason days, the constant video sessions and 5:30 wake up calls, we are all ready and excited about these two games.

Academically, the school year is off to a quick start with teachers going over normal first day routines of handing out the syllabi. As a team we have continually had the highest male GPA around campus the past several years. Hopefully all the guys get out to flying starts and we continue with that honor. Here’s to a great year! Let’s get after it boys!