Men’s Soccer has Eyes on Finals

The Vikings Men’s Soccer team played its first scrimmage on Saturday against Division III Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The game ended in a 2-2 tie.

“It was a very positive performance. A lot of guys played,” said Head Coach Travis Cooke. “It was about player evaluation above all today.”

Senior forward Brendan McGrath scored the first goal of the game in the first half. Senior midfielder Connor McMahon added a goal in the second.

After going 9-3-1 last year, the Vikings were upset in the first round of the playoffs. Coming off of a disappointing finish, the team is optimistic that this year they can go further in the playoffs.

“The program is going in the right direction, for sure,“ said Cooke. “On paper this should be one of the better recruiting classes.”

McGrath echoed the high expectations. He said, “I feel like we have a better chance this year. A lot of incoming talent.”

In addition to a strong recruiting class and both of Saturday’s goal scorers returning, the team also saw the return of its goalie, Alec Volans, and its captain, forward/midfielder Giacomo Giglio.

Giglio is a criminal justice major from Glenmont and played high school at Catholic High. “I feel extremely good about this team. We got some good additions. Offense, defense. Returning goalie.”

The Vikings’ biggest hurdle to a championship is Herkimer, who was won the league for over 20 consecutive years.

Cooke explained that Herkimer’s team is primarily international students and that the league is very international. Cooke believes that it is great for the league, and American college soccer in general, to have a lot of international players. Soccer is a world game and most of the best players in the world come from overseas.

Giglio said that staying on top of grades would be a key to making a run in the playoffs. Last year the team lost a handful of starters due to academic ineligibility.

The Vikings believe they have all of the ingredients to make it to the league finals and try to dethrone Herkimer.

Their first regular season game is at home on Wednesday, Sep. 3 against Finger Lakes Community College.

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