Junior men#039;s soccer player has presence, brings intensity to field on Lions team

by Beacon Staff • October 4, 2006

The score was Emerson, five, Newbury College, two.

But junior Chris Mathias kept playing hard until the final buzzer.

Lions Head Coach Jared Scarpaci knows Mathias plays hard.,The clock was ticking to its final buzzer to conclude the men's soccer game and the squads began to lighten up their play.

The score was Emerson, five, Newbury College, two.

But junior Chris Mathias kept playing hard until the final buzzer.

Lions Head Coach Jared Scarpaci knows Mathias plays hard.

The kind of presence Mathias brings to the field is what rookie players should aim for, he said.

"He [plays] 110 percent for 90 minutes," Scarpaci said. "That presence alone is very difficult for teams to handle and a model for any other player in the program."

The intensity Mathias brings to the game is hard to find in him off the field; Scarpaci noted that Mathias is a "mild-mannered young man who likes poetry."

The coach also said that even though Mathias is soft spoken, "when he does talk, people will listen."

Mathias must have developed that intensity early on, as soccer was a major part of his childhood.

At the age of six, Mathias joined the American Youth Soccer Organization and began to play club soccer at ten years old.

He played at Gettysburg Area High School in Gettysburg, Pa. He also played for the Coventry Premiere team in Harrisburg during high school.

Before he made it through the soccer ranks, Mathias can remember back to his most vivid memory on the pitch.

He was 12 years old and part of the Central Pennsylvania Youth (CPY) All-Stars club soccer team when he set up an assist in overtime to win the state championship game.

Mathias has kept his passion for soccer, and Scarpaci noted that Mathias was nominated for GNAC Rookie of the Year.

Scarpaci said Mathias has been a consistent player since entering the Emerson College program and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC).

"I'd be fired up if he just continues the way he's [playing]," Scarpaci said about Mathias' efforts this season. "He's that type of player."

Despite his success on the field, Mathias was quick to give credit to the Lions' rookies.

"We have a really good group of freshman this year," he said when asked what caused the turnaround from last season's three wins to this season's seven.

He said the younger players on the team are learning from the seniors, adding that the seniors are "showing a lot of leadership."

Mathias was too modest to point out that he, too, is a player who his teammates strive to be like.

The team has a 7-2-1 record and the possibility of going all the way to the conference tournament.

But only time will tell.