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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacons Have to Stay Focused

Pierre-Louise Emile
Pierre-Louise Emile

Twelve games into their 2007 campaign, the Beacons’ soccer team is 8-4-0 overall. Within the Little East Conference, those eight wins are second best only to UMass Dartmouth’s ten. Unfortunately, overall wins don’t grant playoff spots come end of the season in the Little East Conference.

“The rest of the teams who were supposed to be in the bottom of the league, they are coming up,” said Beacons senior midfielder Guilherme Goncalves. “[Teams] like Southern Maine and Eastern [Connecticut State.]”

Last weekend, the Beacons had a chance to improve their inter-conference record when they met Eastern Connecticut State University at home. The Beacons ended up losing the game, 3-0, dropping their in-conference record to 1-3. “When you have such a crazy conference like we have here, its tough to have those wins at home,” Goncalves said. “It’s tough, our conference is tough. Unfortunately, we [haven’t] taken advantage of our home games like we did last year.”

In 2006, the Beacons went 5-3 at home during the regular season. This season, they are 5-2 at home with both losses coming at the hands of conference opponents Southern Maine and Eastern Connecticut.

As of now, the Beacons sit tied for last place in the Little East with Western Connecticut State University, a team that they will be facing on Saturday, October 13 in Connecticut. The Beacons have three conference games remaining on their schedule. More and more, the games loom large in Gui’s eyes. “It’s going to be tough,” the midfielder says. “If we win those three games, we’re definitely going to make it [to the playoffs].

Head coach Myles Berry isn’t looking at the playoffs yet though. “I’m just taking it one game at a time,” he said. “I just want to win the next game. When we start getting closer to the playoffs, we’ll start looking at the playoffs, but we [have to] get a win against Western [Connecticut State].”

Berry knows that his team needs to play better down the stretch. “Against some of the weaker teams in the conference, we can afford to make a mistake, but not against the better teams. We’ve got to take advantage of our scoring chances when we have them and we’ve got to defend better.”

Gui Goncalves echoes his coach’s sentiments. “We’re going to have to improve this last stretch here with finishes…because we haven’t been putting balls away against the big teams.”

If there is going to be a turnaround before the end of the season, players are going to have to step up. Myles Berry has a good idea of who could be the difference maker down the stretch. Senior midfielder Emile Louis-Pierre is a speedster that Berry thinks could propel the Beacons if he steps up. “If Emile’s at the top of his game, he could be a difference maker.

“When he’s on, he plays both ends of the field, uses his speed to threaten the other team and he opens things up for us when he’s going well.”

On the other side of the ball, junior goalkeeper Paul Maniscalco also has the ability to change games in favor of the Beacons. “[Last year] he had a couple of unbelievable games that just kept us in it. He could be the difference maker on the other side of the ball.”

Gui, as his teammates call him, is confident that his team can figure this out. “I think we have to rely on our offense because this team’s strength is its offense,” he said. “We have two forwards who can really make an impact [and we have] Ludji [Chipps] who can make a big difference up front. We just haven’t figured out our best eleven yet.”

Gui, one of seven seniors on the team, has a little something extra to play for. “We’re going to come hard because we have too many seniors this year. I don’t want to go my senior year without going to the playoffs.”

“We haven’t figured it out yet, but hopefully we will by next week.”