Lions return to the den

by Beacon Staff • November 9, 2005

Sheryl Crow's song "Everyday is a Winding Road" sums up the 2005 campaign for the men's soccer team. The Lions finished 3-13-1 despite last year's 14-6 record. This season was a roller coaster for the Lions.

"I thought it was sort of odd . it was just up and down," said junior Co-Captain Cody Schram, reflecting on the Lions' troubles this season. "[At] the beginning of the season [I] thought we had a good team [but we] didn't get the bounces. It's just the way it goes, I guess."

The Lions lost five games by two goals or less and lost seven games by three or more, showing that the team was competitive for some games, while blown away in others.

Head Coach Jared Scarpaci echoed Schram's sentiment.

"The season, as a whole, was not what any members or I wanted," Scarpaci said. "We did find many positives to build for the future."

The men's team was young in comparison to other teams in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference. (GNAC) The Lions had one senior and 16 underclassmen. The top four teams in the GNAC had a better balance of upper and lower classmen, according to the GNAC.

"I think it might be used as an easy excuse," Scarpaci said of having a young team. "We had talented players who were more talented than the other teams many times."

Scarpaci said the team played well in three games during the season.

The first game Scarpaci pointed to was against Framingham State on Sept. 10. The contest ended in a 2-2 tie after two overtimes.

Then, the Lions defeated Rivier 4-3 on Sept. 17, in a close match at Rotch Field that included a fight and a game-winning goal by Schram.

Scarpaci also mentioned the GNAC Quarterfinals game, which the Lions lost 1-0 against Johnson & Wales on Oct. 30.

He said even though the playoff game was a loss, the Lions were coming off a bad stretch and were able to turn their play around.

"[That was] the roughest patch," Scarpaci said. "We gave up 21 goals in five games and did not score one."

The Lions were not consistent throughout the year in terms of their desire during games.

"There were times when the team seemed to lack motivation," Schram said as a reason for the team's struggles. "Obviously that seems to happen when the season was as rough as it was."

Schram said the team must have better drive to victory.

"We have to learn from this season and make the negatives positive," Schram said. "We have to come in with a better attitude and try to win."

The majority of the squad is eligible to return next year and Scarpaci expects the 2006 season to be better.

"There are not many teams in the country that are only graduating one senior and have the whole team back," he said.

Scarpaci has high hopes for next year. His goal is "to be at least .500 and make the final of the GNAC."

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