Soccer season ends in opening round of regional tournament

The Men’s Soccer season came to an end Saturday, Oct. 26 with a 2-1 loss against Erie in the opening round of the regional tournament.

“We would have liked to go further in the playoffs but sometimes, things just don’t go your way,” said Head Coach Travis Cooke.

The team finished the season with a 9-4-1 record which was an improvement from their previous 5-9-1 season the year before.

“The season overall was a successful one. Our league is very tough with two of the 10 teams going to the national tournament [such as Herkimer and SUNY Adirondack],” Cooke said. “The season was much better than last year as we were the dominant team in many of our games, in all games except Herkimer, we could have won the game.”

Throughout the season, the team has tried different styles of play.

“The team’s biggest accomplishment was the style of play that we showed. We had many chances and were a good possession style team,” Cooke said. “Our defense was very strong as we limited teams to minimal chances.”

The team looks to move on to the next level with the key players that form their core.

“Accomplishments are still yet to be seen with a few of our players [like Enea Canaj, Mitch Haas and Miguel Arauz] being looked at by about 15 [division two and division three] schools,” said Cooke.

Arauz earned All-Conference honors and led the team in points for the second consecutive season.

Haas and Canaj have both earned second-team all-region honors this past week. Haas lead the team with six goals on the season and Canaj added to the defense as one of the best defensive players in the region.

Even with the success the team had this year, one of the biggest areas Cooke would like to improve is on their finishing.

“Looking back on the season, one thing we could have done better was finishing the ball. This is the challenge for all teams in the soccer world,” said Cooke. “It is the hardest skill to master in the game.”

The coaching staff is already looking forward to next season and looking to reach their biggest goal of making it to the national championship.

“There is already a countdown started from the coaching staff here to next year.  We are very active in the recruiting process and are looking forward to next year,” Cooke said.

Freshman that will be returning next season also look forward to leading the team to success.

“Influential returners such as Mike Chiudina, Alec Volans, Shafi Kabir, Spencer Johnston, Will Valle and possibly Giacomo Giglio will look to develop this off season to help the program get to the next level,” said Cooke.

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