As extra time slowly clicked, second by second, the Union Men’s Soccer Team heard their season come to end with a sudden blow of the whistle by the referee. It was the Liberty League Tournament and the team sadly glanced at a 3-1 defeat to Vassar.
The season had officially ended, and they had to say goodbye to seniors Alex Pack ‘13, Andrew Knight ‘13 and All-American Sebastiaan Jansen ‘13. “We lost three important players that day” said Jake Soodek ‘14.
The team finished with an impressive 12-5 overall record and was lead by not only the leadership from Pack, Knight and Jansen, but also the 20 goals scored by Jansen.
“We’ve lost our top goal-scorer, but we feel that we have a group of guys that together can collectively make up for the loss of Sebastiaan.” Said All-League, All-Region, Nick Vozzella ‘14.
As many know, the off-season is a very important time for athletes to recover, implement new strategies and improve their game. For the men’s soccer team, the off-season has meant grueling 7 a.m. practices twice a week and workouts twice a week as well.
In regard to lifting, Soodek added, “We’ve been training strenuously this off-season, everyone has been demonstrating how committed they are.”
The team is also very excited for the returning talent as well as the incoming players. “After watching the prospect clinic we feel that we have a very strong group of kids coming in who can fill in some key roles and really push our team in the right direction,” said Vozzella.
The team is also very excited to see the return of Brendan Dahlgren ‘14 who was recovering with an injury that kept him from engaging in physical activity his first two years at Union.
Luckily Brendan has been cleared to play and is going to attempt to play defense for the Dutchmen, a position in which he was All-State in high school for his performance on the back line.
Looking forward to next fall, the team will be captained by Dean Constant ‘14, Vozzella and Soodek. “To be completely honest we have a lot of talent coming back next year and our team is full of hard workers. At the end of the day I think we control our own destiny and I’m very excited,” said Constant.
Soodek added, “With a young team, only six rising seniors, the Union Men’s Soccer Team is excited for the upcoming season. The team camaraderie, team spirit and team play is at an all-time high. This summer, the team will be traveling to Costa Rica for 10 days, where we will have four games. We will come into pre-season a week after the trip, ready to go.” With all this preparation behind them be sure to support your Dutchmen this coming fall!