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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacon Soccer Responds

UMass Boston Men’s Soccer seemed unstoppable throughout the first half of the season. In their first 10 games, the Beacons went undefeated, scoring 31 goals while conceding only four goals. Despite the early streak, as October unfolds, UMass Soccer has hit a bump in their schedule.
In the past three games, the Beacons have faced Babson, Eastern Connecticut State University, and Western New England University. In this small span of matches the Beacons suffered their first loss, 1-0 to Babson; shortly followed by their second, they lost 2-1 to Eastern Connecticut. In just three matches the Beacons have given up six goals, two more than they conceded the entire first half of the year.
The fire that was propelling the Beacons to reach new heights may have been doused. Naysayers believe that their red hot streak is coming to an end. Let the critics be critics, Senior Captain Alfonso Rosales seems to believe.
“We were definitely on fire going into these past two weeks. Almost every win came easy to us. There were only a couple of true tests to our ability,” said Rosales. “In these recent games we’ve faced some of the best talent in the New England area. Babson is a really talented team that has seen the NCAA tournament before. They have experience. We didn’t get the results we wanted, but we did learn how it feels to lose. It’s a feeling that no one in our locker-room wants again.”
Experiencing a loss can either make or break a team. It can be what binds them, or what separates them. Fortunately for the Beacons, it appears to have brought them together.
Following two straight losses, a shell-shocked UMass Boston side came out to play Western New England. Throughout the match the blues were trailing. They appeared to be depleted and run-down as they tirelessly fought to not lose. However, as the clock hit the final ten minutes, a reinvigorated Beacons side began to find their heart and legs. In the concluding minutes of the second half, Forward Elton Teixeira netted a game-tying goal in order to force overtime. Once UMass entered the field for overtime, there was a newfound aura around the squad. As the whistle blew, the Beacons immediately floored it, putting the pedal to the metal. Within five minutes, Guilherme Barbosa found the back of the net, scoring the game winner in the first half of overtime play.
Despite their overtime win, Head Coach Jake Beverlin was still disappointed to see his squad let up two consecutive losses.
“You expect to lose at least one game within a season. Being undefeated creates a lot of internal pressure to win out… to make a deep run during the tournament. Losing once can help alleviate some of the burden, but still, it never feels good to chalk up an L,” said Beverlin. “We want to learn from our losses. We want to respond immediately in the following game by correcting the mistakes we’ve made. It’s frustrating to give away the second game (against Western); we were the better side. Moving forward, we need to find a way to fix the problems immediately. Top teams don’t lose consecutively.”
Not all is bad for Beverlin’s Beacons. The overtime win appeared to bring momentum back in the right direction. With just five games left to play, it was a crucial win that helped UMass regain its confidence moving towards the postseason. “It was great to respond to our losses with such a hard fought win,” said Beverlin. “It showed our strength, our resilience, and our overall ability as a team. It was a win that I was extremely proud to be a part of. Hats off to the boys.”
In their final five games, the Beacons are set to play three Little East Conference matches. Winning two of the three conference games will clinch another consecutive playoff berth for UMass Soccer. Will the Beacons be able to rise to the challenge with the pressure now on?