By Kevin Key
A word of wisdom to the reader: All things must end, and so must soccer season. Yes, even the beautiful game must wrap up here at the University of Dallas. UD’s men’s soccer team (UDMST) has finished the season admirably. The players accomplished all of their goals that were set out at the beginning of the season and formed a team that is sure to please over the coming years. Amidst all of the joys that come with the success of a good season, there is salt to be taken as well. Seniors must graduate and move on, and this year it will be even more poignant. Eight UD student athletes will soon become both UD and UDMST alumni. In a way, an era is coming to a close as they leave. Captain Matthew Wise will be leaving, along with fellow captains James Bernard and Mikhail Castillo. Matthew Wise has been on the team for all four years and has carried the program a long way as captain. However, it takes 11 men on the field and even more on the sideline to make a true team.
The “Dallas Boys” set out in August with a goal to be ranked in the top five of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and make it to the conference tournament. They did just that. Along with the beauty of the game and the skill involved in playing, a level of math is also necessary in soccer. You have to win X number of games in order to achieve goals like the ones that were set by the men’s soccer team. In spite of a few disappointments, UD was able to finish the season with a 10-8-2 record overall and 6-6-2 in conference. Along the way, the defense, led by Bernard, kept eight clean sheets. However, the season did not end on a high note. UD travelled to Seguin, Texas to play the host of the conference tournament, Texas Lutheran University (TLU) on Friday, Nov. 7. The victor was to advance to play Trinity University the next day in the quarterfinals. The day was to be TLU’s. UD remained scoreless throughout the game, and conceded one in each half. The final score was 2-0, and the “boys in blue” had to return home in sorrow. The seniors are leaving the squad in young and capable hands. Unfortunately, characters, unlike positions, are irreplaceable. Head coach David Hoffman mused that the team will be very quiet next year after soulful players, such as Nathan Nwaeze, Patrick Fanizza, Juan Hernandez-Reyes and Aaron Hegemann, graduate and move on. Regardless of the losses, the season will start up again next year and men’s soccer team will continue to “burn, destroy, wreck and kill.”