As the men’s soccer team began to take the field for the Doug May Classic on September 2 and 3, spectators saw many familiar faces, yet there were new faces as well. Head Coach Bill Garno welcomed 14 new freshmen players onto the team as the Tigers kicked off the 2016-17 season this fall.
First year Business major Ben Frenett, defense, and Mechanical Engineering major Will Schiesswohl, midfield, have already earned spots on the starting 11. During the Doug May Classic, they assisted the team in earning a 1-0 victory over Buffalo State Bengals. The team had a second game against Morrisville State the following day, where they lost 0-1.
Schiesswohl set a goal for himself at the start of the season, and reached it at the beginning of the tournament. “One goal that I had for myself before the season started was to earn a spot in the starting 11,” said Schiesswohl. “I’m grateful to be able to say that I’ve already achieved this goal.”
High school soccer and college soccer are “two different worlds” according to Schiesswohl. “The speed of play has increased as well as the level of physicality, but I’m up for the challenge and ready to adapt to this level of soccer.”
“College soccer is such a step up from high school ball,” agreed Frenett. “In college, everyone is fast, strong and good on the ball.”
First year business major Dante DeSisti is also adjusting to the pace of collegiate sports. However, he is optimistic about the future of the team in terms of how far they will go in the playoffs. “I think we can definitely win the Liberty League with the right attitude.” said DeSisti. “It’s too early in the season to tell, but anything is possible.”
Frenett also offered his viewpoints on the team’s future outcomes of their matches.
“I think this team can win any game against any opponent,” he said. “We wouldn’t be saying that if we didn’t believe it.”
“It’s hard to judge how far any team will go in the playoffs at the beginning of the season,” said Schiesswohl. “Of course I want us to go and win the whole thing, and I honestly believe that is something we can achieve.”
The more experienced athletes on the soccer team have also played a large role in the integration of the first year players. “The veteran players have made the freshmen’s transition quite smooth into becoming a Tiger athlete. When joining a new team there is always that period of time when you have to get to know everyone and become comfortable around them,” explained Schiesswohl. “The length of this period depends on the people on the team already, and I can say the veteran Tigers made it very quick and easy to assimilate.”
Frenett gave special recognition to two veterans on the team for their ability to produce plays during the games.
“As a defender, it has been great to watch our captain Scott Fishel (defense) and Mike Reverdatto (defense) make plays in practices and games. We are a pretty young squad but no question the veterans are the core of this team.”
The defense also received praise from Coach Garno, even after their loss against Morrisville State on September 3.
“We defended fairly well, but made a couple of mistakes on the goal,” said Garno. “Collectively on the weekend the defense was pretty good though. With 26 first and second year players, we get why they don’t move together quite yet.”
“Despite our loss on Saturday, I feel good with the way we’ve started,” said Schiesswohl. “There are a lot of things to improve on but we are all working hard, myself included, so I know things will only get better from here.”
In order to see this young, exciting team in action, come out to support the Tigers as they play against their crosstown rival University of Rochester in the Hillside Community Shield on September 17.