24 Hours a Week for 90 Minutes

Shun Hasegawa

The UMB men’s soccer team was jerked from an indulgent and restful summer vacation by four-hours-a-day-six-days-a-week practice, imposed by the second-year coach Myles Berry. Berry wasn’t too happy with his players’ physical preparation over the summer for the new eight-week season.

Berry commented “Some of the guys didn’t come back in a good shape and obviously look more tired during practice. But most of the returning players stayed in a game shape. They know how hard it is to play a game for ninety minutes without working out in the summer.”

Berry recollected the 7-10 record of last season, and the 0-7 against the LEC teams, saying, “I was disappointed. We had two key injuries, but I thought we were capable of winning at least two more games.” Last year, the Beacons lost three games against their opponents in the conference by one goal, including two overtime losses.

But things were not all negative. Senior mid-fielder Alejandro Lopez led the team to record seven goals and seven assists and to be ranked at eighth in goal points to make them the first team in the LEC. Another positive thing was that a lot of sophomores and freshmen were given ample playing time, allowing them to get some experience. The team’s fifteen out of nineteen players were in the first two years in college last year. Among them, Berry named sophomore defender Michael Reda and mid-fielder Maynor Sanchez, a Rookie of the Week winner, as the most promising.

This year, with nine returning and eight freshmen players, Berry expects his team to perform better than last they did last season. “We have a better nucleus and depth than last year. I’m happy with the young kids we have now. We are in a very tough conference, but I think we can certainly play with other teams.”

Berry has not decided starters yet except for a few spots filled with by the dual captains Lopez and Senior defender David Lococo and several others. Out of a plentiful bank of freshmen, goal keeper Richard DaSilva will bring up the rear. And forwards Guilherme Goncalves and Ergys Huta are likely to be responsible for the front. Berry commented about the new goalie, saying, “He is really athletic and can control the box.”

Lopez, a reliable captain, scorer, and passer, enters his closing season as a Beacon. “Alejandro is a good ball-handler. He has an excellent vision and can distribute balls to others very well. He is a good kid and good team member. I want to give him a chance to get some success.” Berry said.

Unlike other varsity teams, men’s soccer is reluctant to accept additional players because Berry thinks he has enough depth to get over possible injuries and absences during the season. “If somebody comes to ask, I’ll consider. But there has to be a good reason. I’m satisfied with players I have now.” he commented.

The Beacons are scheduled to play a total of eighteen games in this season, seven of them home games at the Clark Athletic Center, the first of which will be on Tuesday, September 21, against Suffolk University.