A Work in Progress

Sebastian Lena

We’re all familiar with the story of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. It’s a tale about one man with two distinct personalities. He is the respectable Dr. Jekyl one minute, the sinister Mr. Hyde the next. It’s hard to tell who will show up.

The UMass Boston men’s soccer team is in the midst of directing a remake.

Through their first 10 games this season, the Beacons have looked dominant in their three wins, outscoring their opponents 9-1. Conversely, the Beacons have looked lackluster in their losses, being outscored 14-2. Unfortunately for the Beacons, the latter has made more appearances, as the Beacons find themselves 0-3 in the Little East and 3-7 overall.

One positive for the Beacons during this up and down season is the play of junior goalkeeper Domenick Persuitte. In nine games played, the first year keeper has only surrendered 13 goals while ranking second among Little East goalies in saves (64) and saves per game (6.40).

So just what is the problem for the Beacons? Persuitte kept it simple.

“The major thing is, we just need to score more goals,” he said. Beacons head coach Myles Berry offered an explanation for the slow start. “We have so few returning lettermen,” Berry said. “It has taken some time to develop team chemistry and to allow the young players to gain experience at the college level.”

As far as the inconsistency goes, Berry said, “the inconsistency in our play is a reflection of our inexperience. While we have played very well at times, we have not had the consistency we need on both sides of the ball and that translates into the discrepancy you see in the scoring.”

Persuitte saw it a little differently.

“It has to do with how the team plays when we are winning or losing,” he said. “When we start to score we keep on scoring throughout the game, but if we don’t score we start to get frustrated with the game.”

That frustration only gets worse for Persuitte when he sees some of his best efforts in the net not be enough to bring home the win.

“It is a little frustrating,” he said. “But it comes with the game. I just put the frustration behind me. I just focus on the next match, and what I can improve on in practice.”

During their last three games, the Beacons have beaten a good Becker team and taken two tough conference opponents (Southern Maine and UMass Dartmouth) to overtime. They’ve scored in three straight games for the first time this year, a definite a step in the right direction.

“I was very pleased with our effort at Southern Maine,” Berry said. “I think it is a good step in the right direction for our team. Our game vs. UMass Dartmouth this past weekend proved we are getting closer to [finishing] games off. Like anything else, finding ways to win a game comes with experience and our younger players are still learning what needs to be done.”

With every new step, expectations will only increase. But as Persuitte noted, it all comes back to square one.

“My expectations for the rest of the season [are] for us to hopefully step up to the next level and to start scoring more goals.”