By Morgan Clark, Staff Writer
As they wrapped up their 2015 season, The UMF Men’s Soccer Team saw three of their senior members make their way onto the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) All-Conference Teams.
Ibrahim Achekh and Uriah Forest-Bulley both made the Second Team All-Conference, as recognition for their contributions to the team.
Chris Roberts had nothing but good things to say about his fellow seniors, and spoke with passion when he said he was “extremely happy to hear of the individual awards that were given.” He said Achekh and Forest-Bulley were leaders of the team and “a great representation of the program.”
Roberts was also recognized on the NAC All-Conference Sportsmanship Team. “I was very surprised at this,” said Roberts. “I can’t describe how honored I was, and am.”
“They deserved it for sure,” said Freshman Braden Maillet, who just completed his first season and witnessed the three seniors in action all season. “They all worked extremely hard all season.”
According to Head Coach Thomas DiNuzzo, the team had set goals at the beginning of the season that hoped to achieve throughout this fall. “They decided what was important to them, what we wanted to accomplish, and how we would do it,” DiNuzzo said.
Team chemistry was important to the team, something they worked on throughout the season. “[That goal] was easy,” said Maillet. “Everybody fit together really well right from the beginning.”
The season started strong as the team won their season opener against the University of Presque Isle, and only continued with progress moving forward.
Towards the end of the season the team beat Husson 1-0 after scoring with only 11 seconds left, which proved to be a big win for the team, and one of the most memorable moments for DiNuzzo. This placed the men into a strong position heading into playoffs, entering as the number sixth ranked team.
“We ended the season with one of the best records we have had in a long time,” said Roberts. Their overall record ended at 6-10-3, and their conference record remains at 3-4-2.
The team accomplished their goal of making the playoffs, and even won their first round game. “The win over Colby-Sawyer was definitely the most memorable [game],” Roberts said. “They had beat us earlier in the season and it was the first collegiate win that the seniors and I have had.” The game ended 2-1 in favor of UMF after a double overtime.
After beating Colby-Sawyer the team went on to play Castleton, but were defeated 4-1.
“We earned everything that came our way with hard work, dedication, and an unmatched work ethic,” Roberts said. “I can’t think of a better squad, and season, to end my career.”
Dinuzzo is looking forward to next season. “We’re excited to see our returners make the most of these next nine months and continue to move our program forward,” he said.