By Megan Palumbo & Sean Chase – Sports Editor & 1851 Staff
The men’s soccer team has a refreshed look after its new head coach Michael Haynes was hired in the off-season along with 12 freshmen joining the team this fall. The Lasers will start the 2016 season with a new team philosophy as well as tactics not all of the players may have used before.
The team’s goalkeeper position was up in the air at the beginning of the season due to goalkeeper Miguel Colmenares graduating this past May. Colmenares started all 16 games last season and took home the 2015 GNAC Goalkeeper of the Year award as a vital member of the team.
This puts the Lasers in a unique situation for the season ahead as the players welcome four inexperienced freshmen goalies: Patrick McAvoy, Jackson Burhans, Matteo Cugno, and Jaret Petrie. Thus, providing great competition to earn minutes in the goal.
“There is always competition when you have four goalkeepers on one team fighting for playing time,” said McAvoy. “The pressure is enormous with Coach Haynes asking a lot of us, but it’s worth it in the end.”
Playing time was on the list of worries this season for these four players, however Haynes has been fair about split-ting the playing time between them. Ultimately, he does what is best for the team over anything else.
Fellow new goalkeeper Petrie is grate-ful to have his teammates to work with in net. “It’s nice to have the other three to train with because I learn from each of them,” said Petrie. “It also pushes me to try my hardest to keep up with them and that helps me improve my skills as well.”
Between practices, strength and conditioning, and having a high game IQ, these goalkeepers are learning from each other with motivated efforts to become the program’s next keeper.