Entering last Saturday's game against Williams, soccer captain Ben Denton-Schneider '11 wanted to do something new.
"My brother played soccer at Williams," Denton-Schneider said, "so I knew for a fact that we hadn't beaten them during my career."
In fact, the Polar Bears had not beaten Williams since 2004. In the 64th minute of the game, Denton-Schneider helped to end this five-year losing streak with a flick of his redheaded noggin.
Denton-Schneider's header goal proved to be the game-winner as the Polar Bears cruised to a 2-0 victory. After countless effective runs on both offense and defense, the co-captain summed up the win in a word: "Satisfying."
Head coach Fran O'Leary called Denton-Schneider's play a "dominant midfield performance," and for his efforts, he earned NESCAC Player of the Week honors.
But accolades are nothing new for the senior from San Rafael, California. Denton-Schneider was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year as a first year, first-team all-NESCAC as a sophomore, and a NESCAC All-Academic following an injury his junior season. Denton-Schneider has torn the labrum in both of his hips, one before his sophomore season and one following his junior year.
"Freshman year I just ran and ran the entire game," Denton-Schneider said, "Now I have to pick my spots on offense and defense."
His teammates are not so sure their captain has ever slowed down.
Captain Dan Hicks '11 called his fellow captain "a freight train, deliberately steamrolling through the landscape of the NESCAC."
"He's everywhere on the field," Tim Prior '11 said, "the amount of ground he covers is impossible."
Prior cited Denton-Schneider's outstanding work ethic as one of the reasons why the California native is so dominant. The combination of effort and intangibles, noted Prior, is a main reason why so many on the team admire their center midfielder.
Coach O'Leary understands the path his senior captain has traveled.
"Ben is a pretty special lad," O'Leary said. "As a result of his dedication and perseverance, Ben is once again recognized as one of the top players in our league."
Denton-Schneider says he loves soccer because results are never guaranteed.
"You can influence the game in so many different ways," he said, "You never know how you're going to contribute going into a game."