By Corey Raftery
Last fall, Springfield College added two new club sports teams: men’s and women’s soccer.
Both teams showed some promising results, even if their records did not show it, as they faced tough competition. The men’s team faced Division I teams such as Harvard, as well as Division II teams such as Tufts, WPI, Clark, Brandeis and Merrimack. The women’s club team competed against teams from bigger schools, including Umass Amherst, the University of Vermont and Dartmouth College,
“With it being the team’s first season, we knew it would be a season of building team chemistry and finding ways to work as a unit,” said men’s club soccer team President Spencer Maraday. “The expectations weren’t sky high, but we had hoped for some success given the talent on the team.”
The men’s team concluded its inaugural season with a 1-5-2 record – and finished sixth in a nine-team conference. The Pride women’s club soccer finished 1-5-3 and sixth in an eight-team conference.
“After some close games, I believe our team’s record doesn’t accurately reflect the level our team played,” Maraday said. “I also believe it gives us a lot of room to improve for next season, which I have high hopes for.”
Three of the men’s five losses were by one goal – and the goals came in the last few minutes of the game. One of the things that they struggled with through the season was scoring in the final third of the field.
“We had players who came from a wide range of different playing backgrounds and had to find a way to create systems that worked for everybody,” said Richard Aziz, a player on the men’s team. “We finished in the middle of the table, which was good for our first season, but we didn’t score many goals overall and we gave up a lot of points.”
The first season was a learning experience for the women’s team as well.
“The season went well, for the first season as a club we were definitely considered the underdogs and we were told that by some coaches,” said Caire Scammon, the women’s team’s co-captain. “Although we didn’t have a winning record for the first season ever playing together we did really well. We are in a tough division with some really skilled teams.”
There were several highlights, said Sammon.
“One highlight would be the game against the University of Vermont,” Scammon said. “They were a very skilled and physical team and they went into the game thinking it would be an easy win but we traveled four hours and showed up to play and held our own only to lose by two goals.”
Both teams had a good first season and have a bright future ahead of them.
“Right now we’re just doing practices and hopefully a scrimmage or two for the spring season just to get some touches on the ball and keep building the bond of the team,” said women’s team co-captain Paige Dube. “We are fundraising right now and looking forward to the next fall season after a successful first season last year.”
Photo: Corey Raftery