Dan Piersma, Staff Writer
For the first time ever, Utica College will have both their men and women’s soccer team finish with a winning record. While the teams are still unsure of their postseason status, this season can be counted as a huge win for the programs.
For the women’s team, they currently sit at 8-5-1 but their team stats tell a much different story. They are dominating games both offensively and defensively.
On the season, they are outscoring opponents 27-15 while taking 62 fewer shots than the opponent average.
Head coach Brooke Barbuto said she loves the nature of this team and can see it lasting in the future.
“These girls are always improving talent-wise and we hope that making the postseason can become the norm here,” she said.
Barbuto acknowledged the great success on offense but made sure to equally attribute a lot of the success to the defense that has been displayed as well.
“Our defensive line and goalkeeping have been so crucial to staying in games all year,” she said.
Captain of the women’s soccer team Amanda Thut emphasized the team chemistry and how important it is over the course of the team’s 16-game season.
“When the new girls came in this season they fit in and adjusted so well,” said Thut, a defensive player. “They became so comfortable with the environment so fast.”
For the men’s team, their season relies not on what happens in their game against Hartwick on Saturday but the game between Houghton and Sage. UC needs a Houghton victory.
So far this season they are 9-6-2. This will be the first time since 2011 that the team will finish with a winning record.
For head coach Brian Marcantonio, he said he believes in this exceptional team.
“It’s really a next man up mentality,” he said. “We’ve had injuries but we have such good depth that we are able to keep playing at that same level without some of the starters.”
With only one game left to play, the boys are looking to get back to their winning ways after losing their last four games. The team is very balanced, in that they have double-digit players with at least one goal so everyone is sharing the ball.
“60-to-70 percent of this team will be back next year ready to step up for those that leave,” Marcantonio said.
Competition in practice is heavy for the team, which is something senior player Thomas Muller has had to fight for over the course of his collegiate playing career.
“I’ve been a starter all four years and this has definitely been the hardest year to maintain my starting spot,” Muller said.
Whether its first-year players or seniors, there are people from every level representing the team. The level of play has remained even and the guys are always working harder to make sure they can help whenever needed.
“We are so close and reinforced the next man up culture among our team that I think has helped in balancing the team,” Muller said.
Roles are different on this team than some teams — everyone feels like they can make a difference at any point during the game. This has helped them in closing out games.
By this weekend, both teams will find out if they are in the Empire 8 tournament.