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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Men’s Soccer Names New Captains Ahead of Offseason Program

Pedro+Dasilva+and+the+Beacons+have+their+work+cut+out+for+them+as+they+attempt+to+repeat
Pedro Dasilva and the Beacons have their work cut out for them as they attempt to repeat

The crowd shouts ecstatically, confetti is everywhere, and the trophy is presented. Champions at last!
The season is over, but what’s next? Seniors graduate, the captains are gone, new players are coming in, and there is roughly six months of unofficial training. It’s the start of the offseason, and there are mountains of anticipation for the unknown.
After winning their first Little East Conference Championship, the University of Massachusetts Boston men’s soccer is in the midst of the unpredictable offseason. Despite the unanswered questions of what’s to come, Coach Jake Beverlin is extremely optimistic for the upcoming campaign. So far, in his short two year stint at UMass Boston, Beverlin has made huge strides each offseason, completely turning around a program that appeared to be in the dumps. So what’s to come this offseason?
“This is going to be a very interesting offseason for us,” said Beverlin. “The team is transitioning into new captains for the first time ever. I think [Alfonso Rosales,] [Arlindo Goncalves,] and [Estive Sosa] are going to do a great job for us next year. They are dedicated, responsible and talented athletes.” At the end of this season, Captains Douglas Silveira and Marcus Pizzetti handed down the captain bands to Rosales, Goncalves and Sosa. Sosa and Rosales are both returning goal keepers and Goncalves is a central midfielder turned into an outside back.
Transitions of leadership can be detrimental to teams, but for UMass Boston, it seems to be smooth sailing. “These guys are talented players. Last year they were already leaders for us, they just didn’t have the title yet,” said teammate Paul Erne. “I think these guys will be great captains for us, like Alfonso, our keeper. He was already a vocal guy last year and a lot of players rallied around him in some of our key games.” Having a keeper who can lead a team is extremely helpful. In soccer, control and shape of the team is extremely important and is generally dictated by one player. Because a goalie has the ability to see everything on the field, he has a huge advantage in controlling a line. For a knowledgeable player like Rosales, the advantage is even greater. “[Rosales] is not shy by any means,” joked Beverlin. “He’s going to do a great job next year. I’m confident he will be able to control the defense.”
The captains are not only knowledgeable and skilled, they are also hard workers. This is a critical trait that can’t be taught. “Arlindo does a great job leading by example,” said Rosales. “He’s one of those guys who works his ass off day in and day out, regardless of what else is on his plate. Teams need someone like that. Someone who will start the engine up no matter what.” The team appears to be extremely tight knit with a strong sense of identity. It doesn’t seem that anything can knock them back.
For men’s soccer teams, all NCAA Division III programs are allowed one official day of games in the offseason. With such a small window it is crucial for teams to maximize this vital day.
Coach Beverlin has planned to join a four team tournament hosted by Colby College in Maine. The team’s first test of togetherness and durability is approaching April 19. The Beacons will face Endicott, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Colby Sawyer. This will be a great test and challenge for the team. Colby is from arguably the best Division III conference in the country, the NESCAC. Playing Colby and Endicott will provide the Beacons with an opportunity to face some teams on par with the NESCAC conference.
“I am excited to see how the boys perform in the tournament,” said Beverlin. “Our team is competing against quality opponents that are on the same level as the teams we face in the NCAA Tournament. Colby is a nasty group of players. Andrew Woonton and Jack McGeachie were instrumental for them last postseason. It helps the team build, facing teams and players of that caliber.” Hopefully, UMass Boston will hit the ground running April 19, but nothing is guaranteed. Ultimately, one thing is certain, the team is getting stronger day by day.