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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

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March 4, 2024
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February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

NCAA – Future Expectations

Establishing a winning culture is one of the hardest tasks for college coaches. However, in just three years Jake Beverlin, the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Men Soccer Coach, has turned his team from worst to first within the Little East Conference.
Under Beverlin’s guidance at the helm, UMass Boston’s Soccer team has a dominant record of 41-18-3. Since his introduction to the program in 2013, Beverlin’s squad has featured over 10 LEC All-Stars, two Rookie of the Years, and several All Regional Selections. UMass Boston’s talent loaded rosters have enabled Beverlin to make two consecutive NCAA National Tournament appearances in the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Despite Beverlin’s immediate success during the season, the new coach found difficulties in the NCAA tournament. In both of UMass Boston’s National Tournament appearances, the Beacons suffered convincing first round losses to their opponents. While it is an amazing accomplishment to even reach the NCAA tournament, some teams travel an easier road to the postseason.
Nationally, the LEC is one of the weaker Division III soccer conferences, especially in the Northeast. The NESCAC is known as the top DIII soccer conference in the Northeast, and potentially the top conference in the Nation. Other teams like Babson, Brandeis, Western University, Trinity, and the SUNY schools have established programs that have been dominant over the course of the last decade.
Being in the LEC is somewhat of a cake walk for the Beacons. The only real top competitor is UMass Dartmouth. The past three seasons, the Beacons strength of schedule has been fairly weak. Babson and Tufts are the only two teams that have provided a real test to the Beacons’ abilities, but in both games, UMass Boston lost.

This isn’t mentioned to diminish the accomplishments of the Beacons. It is mentioned because top teams play top competition. If the Beacons want to become a top 25 nationally ranked team, they will need to make schedule adjustments in order to increase the competition.
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People say in order to be the best, you need to beat the best. This is certainly true. For the Beacons to experience success at the NCAA Nationals, they need to face similar levels of talent in the regular season. Having said that, a tough schedule isn’t built over night. Now that Beverlin has made a name for the program, top level competitors will be more inclined to schedule against a team like the Beacons.  
For UMass Boston, the road to the NCAA tournament is traveled through the LEC postseason. UMass Boston is positioned to win the LEC every year. Regular season games have less importance and should be used as building blocks for the postseason. With regular season games against top teams, the Beacons will be far more prepared to face the talent found in the NCAA tournament.
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Despite falling short of their ultimate goal, Beverlin is excited to build upon their previous success. “It was a tough loss for us this year. To lose two first-round games in back-to-back years of the NCAA tournament is tough for any team,” said Beverlin. “Ultimately the pain of losing will motivate these guys in the offseason. Next year we will have a tough schedule that will help prepare us for the postseason. Each year we want to make positive strides, and so far we have. Since my first year as coach, we have improved our win totals each season. Now, the next goal is to win at least one game at the NCAA National postseason next year.”
Now that the soccer program is in the offseason, Beverlin will start building his schedule for the following year. Ultimately, if the Beacons continue to build on their accomplishments, national success is just around the corner.