As the soccer season is coming to a close within a few weeks, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams here on campus are fighting for a spot in the postseason.
While the men’s team went to the playoffs last year and hosted their first postseason game on campus in program history, the women’s team is seeking their first playoff berth since 2013. The upcoming stretch of conference games will be key in deciding if either will get an opportunity to raise gold.
It’s no secret that this team was going to be competitive. Coming off of the highest win total in program history last year, Head Coach Frank Vertullo’s squad is revamped and currently sitting at 5-4-2 at the time of writing this. With a 2-2 conference record, they are currently in the fifth place in the East Coast Conference (ECC).
Returning All-American midfielder Adolfo Martinez Paquet, a senior, is back in business, currently leading the conference in assists with eight while redshirt sophomore defender Jose Mendez is close behind him at five. Sophomore goalkeeper Josh Balme has allowed only six goals, making him the leader in this statistic in the ECC. Junior goalkeeper Juan Cruz Ladino has also been impressive, winning Defensive Player of the Week back on September 18th.
Impressive newcomers to the team include freshman forward Tommy Gunn, who has won two Rookie of the Week awards, and sophomore forward Harry Cooke who leads the team in goals.
Coach Vertullo and his squad will have played two more matches by the time of publication of this article, one of which being against the Robert Wesleyan University Redhawks on Autism Awareness Day. With a 2-1-2 record in the ECC, a victory against the Redhawks will greatly boost the Knights’ odds at a playoff run.
As it was previously mentioned, second-year Head Coach Thomas Paris and his team are currently sitting at fifth in the ECC with a conference record of 1-2-1. Their four total wins are already double what they had at the end of last season. What’s most impressive, though, is that of the 23 players on Coach Paris’ roster, only six were in Flushing the prior season; an astonishing 14 of the newcomers are freshmen.
One of these freshman, Lluvy Lewis, won the Rookie of the Week award on September 11th while graduate student goalkeeper Erin Kelly won Defensive Player of the Week on September 5th. Most recently, junior forward/midfielder Julia Ragone won Player of the Week after scoring her team-leading fourth and fifth goals in the first week of October.
Coach Paris and his squad will have played two more matches by the time of publication of this article, one of which being against the Robert Wesleyan University Redhawks on Youth Appreciation Day. Being the first seed in the ECC, a victory against the Redhawks will greatly boost the Knights’ odds at a playoff run.