The Men’s soccer team looked exceptionally strong early in the season but now are on the verge of not making the playoffs at the end of October.
Despite the addition of the new players who might have provided the needed punch to balance out the offense and defense of the promising squad, although the potential was through the roof, now it seems that the chance to match that potential wasn’t there this season. Going into the season, players were extremely excited for the new coach and the way he approached the game.
Head Coach Kafui Kouakou seemed to be excited earlier in the season. He had extreme confidence in his abilities along with the team’s to succeed this year and compete for a title.
“We have the talent, the only thing that we need to get down pat is the chemistry of the team,” said Kouakou
Going into the season the optimism was up in the air, even the players were feeling confident about the team’s ability to win on the highest level.
“We play a lot differently than I have ever seen, practices are so much more intense I can appreciate the coach I like him and I feel like he knows what he is doing,” said Forward Frank Rodriguez.
Rodriguez supports Kouakou and the system he presents with the team. Captain Jordan Chin, who is in his fourth year with the team, also supports Kouakou.
“He was player of the year and has won on every level that he has participated,” said Chin. “I am hoping that he can take us to where he has been.”
The team got off to a rough start losing three of its first four games. They surprised everyone when they beat Old Westbury, one of the toughest teams on the schedule. That one game showed everyone the flash of potential that the team and the coaching staff was speaking about.
“We are good its just going to take some time to get everything together but we have potential to be a really good team,” said Rodriguez.
“Talent isn’t something you can teach and this team has a lot of talent,” said Assistant Coach Hayden Martin.
As talented as this team is, they cannot help how injured they are as a whole. They emphasized the fact that a lot of them are not playing to their full potential and some of the players don’t hold their own weight.
“Most of us are playing injured,” said Defender Diron Duah, who is one the team’s leading scorers with three goals and seven assists on the season.“Last game, we had one player bench. We are doing all we can and we are going to play as hard as we can but a lot of players don’t show up so it puts us in a losing position.”
Now the team still has intentions to win as much as they can. If they win out they still have a chance to make the playoffs and compete for that elusive title that they are all hungry for.
“We have intentions to win the next couple of games and make the playoffs,” said Captain Jordan Chin. “We are a good team with potential, it is just we have to all get on the same page because when we’re out there we are playing for each other and the school. We have to play with pride and the confidence that we can win.”
The players had high expectations in the beginning of the season and were disappointed on how it actually played out.
“It is a disappointment, we thought we had a championship caliber team and it didn’t work-out,” said Rodriguez.
The team in the CUNYAC conference is 2-5 and are now mathematically out of the playoffs whether or not they win the rest of the games. They had opportunities throughout the season to be in the playoffs, but they now have to be ready for next season without their seniors.
“We hate that we didn’t live up to our potential,” said Chin. “We did have our opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them.”