Men’s soccer close season with a win
By Andrew Milone, Staff Writer
The Gettysburg men’s soccer team finished off their second season with Coach Mark Mettrick at the helm. The Bullets closed out the year with a 2-0 win over McDaniel College on their new home turf, and now the team can look back on their successful journey this fall. This season marked another year of great improvement for the Gettysburg men’s soccer team who finished with ten wins and a sixth place finish in the Centennial Conference.
The Bullets finished undefeated in out of conference play and a great deal of this success is attributed to team unity, which is different for every sports team and at times is tough to define.
“I know that is a broad statement. However, [team unity] was applied on the field such as when we defended as a team and off the field when we would hang out in our free time,” said senior captain Ryan Kennedy. This way of going about the soccer season has only demonstrated how this program is continuing its renewal after a string of losing seasons before Mettrick’s arrival.
“Although we didn’t make the playoffs, our team was very proud of a ten win season,” said other team captain Marc Franco.
This team definitely has a lot to be proud of especially in the way they have stepped up in certain games including a hard fought 0-0 draw against national powerhouse Messiah College. Every DIII soccer fan knows how good Messiah College can be when playing their brand of soccer.
For Kennedy, it was the away game against Muhlenberg College that was his particular favorite after a sour memory from his sophomore season. “As a sophomore I separated my shoulder on that same field and the fans continued to heckle me as I got in the ambulance, so it was great to get some redemption.” The team continues to look for redemption in the Centennial Conference after some tough losses to Franklin & Marshall College and Dickinson College this season, well known to the campus community as huge division rivals.
Kennedy is “confident the program will continue to improve because of the foundation [the] senior class has cemented.” Kennedy, Franco, senior Marc Yearick, senior Noah Sheetz-Ziegel, and senior Will Gately have set the tone for seasons to come, and the results really demonstrate it.
The team is developing at a rapid pace. Junior, second team all-conference selection Henry Smith returned to have arguably an even better season where he finished with twenty-four points, six goals and a standout twelve assists. He finished fourth in the Centennial Conference in individual points and tied for first in assists.
Sophomore, speed demon Patrick Santini moved into a major starting role this season. He finished with nineteen points, seven goals, and five assists. This was very similar to the season Smith had a year ago.
Between Smith and Santini, the team looks like they will be ready to put other teams’ defenses under huge pressure.
Junior goalkeeper Peter Como will return next season after a strong showing between the pipes this season which included six clean sheets. Sophomore starter Lucas Weismann will also return bringing his innate ability to maintain possession of the ball and keep the team organized.
Several first-year players had a large impact as well. “The majority of them also had a good amount of time on the field this year, which is great for their development and for the future of our program,” said Kennedy.
The Bullets’ defense was solid this year because of the rise of two first-year starting defenders, Peter Kost and Evan Jansen.
The team has continued to brand a type of soccer that continues to create a winning atmosphere, and this has brought out many fans who have come out to cheer on their home team. Kennedy and Franco lead the team in their final season to the best finish in the Centennial Conference since 2010 with a wealth of accomplishments, development, and team unity.
Look for the men’s soccer team to challenge the top dogs in the Centennial Conference when they return next year.