With its season opener coming up on Tuesday, Sept. 6 against the University of New England, the men’s soccer team has been working hard to prepare for what they hope will be a strong season. Members of the team are utilizing an intense preseason schedule to build their skills and take advantage of one of the most talented rosters in recent history.
Practicing both in the early morning and in the afternoon, the team is focused on consistency in their performances.
“The challenge will be showing up every day, ready to play a really meaningful game,” Head Coach Scott Wiercinski said. “Our 2021 season had some really high highs and also some pretty low lows, so the ability for us to be consistent and kind of show up with that really resilient, tough mentality regardless of who we’re playing … is going to be really important.”
Wiercinski mentioned that the extensive preparation, reflected in the rigor of the team’s preseason, is important for achieving consistency.
“It’s going to be really important for the guys to [not only] be consistent with their performance, but also … with their preparation so that they’re ready to go every time we play,” Wiercinski said.
Incorporating the first year class into the team’s system has also been crucial to building the groundwork of a successful season.
“[The first years] are a really talented group, so I think that they can help us depending on the moment, depending on the situation, to just win games, which I think is great,” Wiercinski said. “They’ve been working really hard. They’ve had really good habits in terms of the professionalism they approach to the training.”
Captain Michael Webber ’23 said that, despite the hard work, the team is enthusiastic about the upcoming season.
“It’s been really fun and enjoyable so far. I think it’s the best team I’ve been a part of in my four years,” Webber said.
Captain Harry Cooper ’23 explained that in last year’s season, the team had some standout performances within the NESCAC—including wins against Amherst and Connecticut College—but sometimes fell short in more evenly matched games. So, the players’ mentality will be key to achieving, and continuing, a streak of wins this season.
“It’s important to just take every game as a singular game, instead of thinking about the big game on the weekend versus the lesser perceived game in the midweek,” Cooper said. “We really want to just go out and play hard against everyone we play.”
After traveling to Biddeford on Tuesday, the Polar Bears will face the University of Southern Maine in the team’s home opener on Sept. 13.
Webber believes the team is ready to start the season off strong.
“The first game of the season will set the bar for what we want the rest of the season to look like,” Webber said. “[We are] ready to go fire it up again.”