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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s soccer team shines bright with Cinderella season

Douglas+Silveira+and+company+celebrated+their+incredible+LEC+Championship+win
Douglas Silveira and company celebrated their incredible LEC Championship win

For the University of Massachusetts Boston men’s soccer team, a historic and amazing season has finally come to its conclusion. “For the first time in our program’s history we were able to reach the NCAA Tournament,” Coach Jake Beverlin said. “And not just that, we also won and advanced to the NCAA tournament.”
Hearing this from a second-year coach is astonishing. The LEC is no cake-walk and UMass Boston has had plenty of quality teams in their way. “Most of the teams in our conference have won the LEC before, so naturally it was a challenge to win the title,” Beverlin said. “Keene, UMass Dartmouth, and Eastern Connecticut are programs with a history of success.” Despite the past, UMass Boston defied history and went 6-1 in the LEC during regular season.
“The season wasn’t all gold,” stated midfielder and captain Marcus Pizzetti. “The first quarter of the season we struggled, but after a tough loss to Tufts everything began to click.” Looking at their schedule, this is clearly evident. In the first four games UMass Boston went 1-3. However, once they found a groove the Beacons finished their last 18 games with a 13-3-2 record. This is the best record in program history, a true testament to the coaching and players.
So what was behind their success?
“This year I was extremely driven, I wanted to make history, you know? We wanted to make history as a team,” said Captain Douglas Silveira. “Last year we had a decent year and we were able to build off our youth and improve in a variety of aspects, both offensively and defensively.”
Silveira finished his senior season with an unbelievable display of soccer. His leadership was a clear component to the team’s immense success. Silveira’s aspirations were directed towards team accomplishments, not individual achievements. Silveira humbly stated, “I don’t remember my stats […] just the team wins.” Silveira may not have counted but he finished with five goals and six assists, often finding the back of the net in key moments. Silveira played an integral part in a championship season.
Success didn’t lay solely on the shoulders of a few players. As a unit, the team was able to thrive on both sides of the ball.
Offensively the team was unstoppable. This year they scored 58 goals, according to records kept by Coach Beverlin and averaged 2.5 goals per contest.
“Once we started scoring, the flood gates open up,” said Pizzetti.
On the other hand, defensively the team was structured and disciplined. They only conceded 22 goals; ten of which came in the first four games. Once the team started to click, they only allowed 12 goals in the course of the final 18 games. The defense was led by LEC Defensive Player of the year, Pedro De Carvalho.
“Our back four was solid,” said De Carvalho. “None of our backline is graduating this year, so next season we are going to be even more legit.”
As for what’s next, Coach Beverlin is optimistic but knows that defending a title will take plenty of work.
“Now we need to find a way to carry our success over to next season,” stated Beverlin. “I look forward to the challenge though […] I expect to see the same results next year.” Beverlin seems confident, and the reason to see is clear. His team basically destroyed the LEC and confidence is booming among the team and staff. In fact the only concern is something all winners have to deal with: protecting the trophy.
“The only thing this team needs to worry about next year is having a target on their back,” said Pizzetti. “Once you become a champion, people want to beat you because it means something. I’m confident the boys will carry the success forward and not shy away. These boys are soldiers out there.”
Pizzetti’s words were both honest and moving. Even though this was Pizzetti’s final collegiate season, he truly believes in the program Beverlin implemented just two years ago. Along with Pizzetti and Silveira, only two other team members will have graduated from the team. The majority of the guys will return for the 2015 season. Therefore the team-chemistry should remain fairly intact moving into 2015.
“I’m confident in the future of our team,” said Beverlin. “Next year our goal is not only to get to the NCAA tournament but to win at least one game.”
The first round loss in the NCAAs seems to be eating at Beverlin and the team. Despite this, Beverlin sees the bigger picture.
“We have a lot of success to build off of and we aren’t losing too much depth,” stated Beverlin. “It was a tough loss but next year we will be a force to reckon with.”
In just two years Beverlin has turned around the men’s soccer program, winning LEC Coach of the Year in just his second season. While what the soccer programs future holds may be unknown, they know one thing: as long as the program is in the hands of Beverlin, the Beacons will continue to shine bright.