Hard work’ ahead in offseason

The 2012 season ended for the men’s soccer team on Nov. 1 in the first round of the Big East Championships with a 3-1 loss to Villanova on the road.

The Pirates finished with a record of 6-12.

The Hall improved in Big East play this season with a 2-6 record that allowed them to advance into the postseason for the first time since 2007.

Head coach Gerson Echeverry said that one of his goals is to get the team back to being among the best in the Big East.

“Ultimately the reason I came here was to help bring the program back to its heyday when we were one of the top teams in the Big East,” Echeverry said. “In order for us to get there it is going to take hard work and it is going to take changes, because even though what we did this year was positive it was not enough.”

Despite their struggles, the Pirates made some statistical improvement from last season. The Pirates out dueled their opponents in saves this season with 37-31 in the first half of the game and 55- 38 in the second half.

The biggest takeaway of the season is the 1-0 upset over No. 19 Monmouth at Owen T. Carroll Field on Sept. 14.

The Hall also had notable wins against Big East opponents Providence and Pittsburgh, doubling their conference wins from last season.

Echeverry said that although there is still a lot of work to be done within the program, many positive things came out of the season.

“It was an improvement from last year,” Echeverry said. “The record was a little better, and we were able to go into the postseason. Looking back at some stats a lot of guys improved, and we gave up less goals. I think the team did play better, and it was a step in the right direction.”

The Pirates struggled this year keeping up with other teams offensively. The Hall was outscored 15-13 in the first period and 25-4 in the second half.

“We need to help ourselves by getting some guys in the midfield and out front that can help us with getting some goals because we don’t score enough,” Echeverry said. “If you give up too many goals and don’t score enough, that’s a dangerous cocktail and you’re not going to be able to win too many games.”

However, the team improved as the season progressed.

“The team itself started believing and fighting for each other,” Echeverry said. “They were a better cohesive unit and that was something that I didn’t see early on in the season. The belief that we could impose our will on teams started slowly happening, and unfortunately we couldn’t hold on for a long enough time but it is something that definitely improved as the season went on.”

Echeverry said he expects changes to occur during the off- season for the Pirates. One of the main changes the Pirates will see in the 2013 spring season is the departure of starting goalkeeper Michael Kuzan, who individually had a great season this fall.

“We have to find a guy who can help us and to compete with Kevin (Bonder),” Echeverry said. “We also have Mario (DeClerico), who is getting healthy, so hopefully we can solidify who is going to be our No. 1 goalkeeper.”

Courtney Hnasko can be reached at Courtney.Hnasko@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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