Men’s soccer team wraps up season

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By Estefani Hernandez | Published Nov. 10, 2016

The Kean University Men’s soccer team ended their season with an overall record of 14-5-1 after a tie with Ramapo College, falling short of making the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs.

Head Coach, John Velasco emphasizes the importance of always keeping the main goal in mind which is staying motivated. Starting this season with a new head coach was a bit of a challenge for the players, but Velasco said that the boys did a great job adapting to the change.

“Being head coach, you develop your own philosophy on things and I think we’ve had a successful season so far,” Velasco said.

With the 3-3 tie against Ramapo College in their final game, Kean was in a four-way tie for fourth place in the NJAC. Due to the league’s tie-breaking procedures, Kean could not advance to the playoff tournament.

However, these results did not discourage the players.

“We’re still on the rise, and we plan on doing big things next season,” said Jake Santos, who just concluded his first year playing for Kean.

Santos felt the senior players left a big impact on the team this season.

“They really brought us into this family and taught us a lot,” Santos said.

Eleven seniors will be leaving the team this season and the Men’s soccer team will be recruiting for the upcoming season.

“With the seniors that are leaving we just have to work a little harder, but this season has definitely brought us closer,” said Junior Alex Noriega.

Noriega’s teammate, Freshman Jake Lopes added how the seniors influenced their team chemistry this season.

“We’ll miss the Seniors,” said Lopes. “They really treated us like brothers.”

In April, the team made time to participate in the Special Olympics for Young Athletes here at Kean. This program introduced children with intellectual disabilities to the world of sports and it is designed for children from the ages two and a half to seven. The boys spent time playing with the kids and teaching them about their sport.

With that being said, Velasco hopes to do more community service with the team in the future.

Now that the 2016 season is in the books, it is time to start preparing for a new chapter of Kean University Men’s soccer in the Fall of 2017.

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