Men’s soccer ready for new season

BY JOSH LEVINE ’16
Early Edition Contributing Writer

The soccer season unofficially began with the team’s first scrimmage against Lebanon Valley College Thursday. Ben Beaver ’14, one of the star players on the team, is in the spotlight this issue, as Athlete of the Week.

Before F&M, Beaver played for New Trier High School, in Winnetka, Illinois, playing on the Varsity team for three years. There, he was a highly decorated player, scoring 41 goals in one season, setting the school record for most goals in one season, receiving Team MVP in 2009, and collecting a multitude of other awards and honors.

His success has carried over into college as well; last season, Beaver started in 17 out of 18 games and was a key player in leading the team to the Centennial Conference Playoffs, scoring 13 goals throughout the season. He has also been given many honors throughout his time at F&M—he was named NSCAA All-Region, ECAC South First Team, and All-Centennial Conference First Team. This is all in last season alone.
Beaver and his 24 other teammates are looking forward to the season ahead, which officially begins in a game against Oneonta State University on Diplomat turf Friday, Aug. 31.

The team made some important changes during the off-season and is anticipating much success as a result. Beaver believes the team’s new tactics will give them an advantage on the field during the season. The team switched its formation on the field from a more traditional 4-2-3-1 to a more radical 3-4-3 configuration. This system allows the team to apply more pressure to its opponent’s goal and allows more pressure from Diplomat defense.

“We are still breaking people into the new system,” Beaver said. He is hopeful these new tactics will lead to a win in the Conference Championship in November.

Beaver and the veterans on the team are very supportive of the new class of eight first-years.

“It’s a good class coming in; they seem like good guys who can really contribute to the team,” Beaver said.

Beaver also said the first-years are challenging older players on the field for starting spots, and that constant competition is beneficial for the team, as players are always fighting for a place on the field.

The team is currently composed of three seniors, five juniors, nine sophomores, and eight first-years. This number of first-years is a good amount for a team of 25. They are definitely on the younger side, which could mean great things for years to come, as the team members mesh more and more with each other every season.

The team is already preparing for its game against John’s Hopkins University, one of the team’s biggest rivals. Some of the other Conference competitors include Swarthmore College, Haverford College, and Susquehanna University. The first game is less than a week away—this Friday at 7 p.m. at F&M.

Questions? Email Josh at joshua.levine@fandm.edu.

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