The 2017 men’s soccer team has enjoyed a moderate amount of success to start the new campaign. After holding a record of 11 wins, 7 losses and 0 draws last season, the team will look to improve on a solid year. Head coach, Steve DeMatteo, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach at Lafayette College, has watched his team win two of their first four matches. DeMatteo played college soccer at William Paterson University in New Jersey, where he shares the school record for games started and games played in a single season (22), a record that has stood since 2008.
After losing the first game of the season to nationally ranked, #5 SUNY Oneonta, the Valiants defeated Vassar College 2-1 in an overtime victory in their first home game of the season. Senior Oskar Martinsson and freshman Jon Kyriakidis both tallied a goal and an assist in the win.
The Valiants then took a weekend trip up to Plattsburgh, NY, to play in the Best Western Plus Cardinal Classic. After failing to score a goal in the loss against Johns Hopkins University in the first game of the tournament, the team had a quick turnaround. Taking on Mount Saint Mary College, the Valiants found success as they won 3-2. Continuing to find the back of the net was Martinsson who scored twice in the game, along with Kyriakidis who netted the other. Junior Jack Balasiano assisted on two of the Valiant goals, and the team brought their record to an even 2 wins and 2 losses following the win.
When asked about the chemistry of the team, Balasiano had this to say; “The team chemistry is pretty good, considering we are an older team. The majority of us are juniors and seniors, so a lot of us have been playing together for a few years now.”
Since the Valiants played last season under head coach Kyle Dezotell, it may take some time to get comfortable with a new coach leading the group. For juniors on the soccer team, this is their third coach in three seasons, meaning adjustments are constantly being made.
“Playing under a new coach is de nitely interesting and for us on the team, we have had a di erent coach every season. This year has been good so far and we’re all learning a lot about each other. A new coach obviously comes with challenges, but everyone seems to be buying into what ‘coach’ believes in. That being said, we’re looking to have a great season,” said Balasiano. The team has their next home game on September 20, 2017 against St. Joseph’s College (Brooklyn), where they will look to continue to improve.