Two goals in four games is a great start for any soccer player at the collegiate level, and Keene State’s midfielder Glenn Smith has done just that – as a first-year.
Smith tallied two goals against Wheaton College on September 10 in what was his second collegiate game ever. Just 3 minutes and 44 seconds into the game, Smith was fed a pass by Captain Riley Steele and beat the Wheaton goalkeeper to get scoring started.
Smith made his way on the scoresheet again just under four minutes later when he put home a pass from Promise Kpee.
Smith said scoring his first collegiate goal was, “pretty exciting.”
Men’s Soccer Head Coach Rick Scott said that Smith had been generating interest for a long time prior to him actually coming to KSC.
“He came up on our radar a few years ago,” Scott said.
He added that while Scott and his staff were interested in Smith as a player, they didn’t think he was interested in them.
However, Smith’s club team coach gave Scott a call and told him to reach out to Smith.
“We couldn’t be more happy with him as a player and a person on and off the field. We couldn’t ask for anyone to give more effort or commitment,” Scott said.
Smith said knowing that Keene was interested in him has definitely made him more confident.
“It was a really good feeling knowing that [Scott] wanted me to come here,” Smith said. “To be able to come in and make an impact my freshman year is crazy – a good feeling.”
According to Scott, Smith has a number of qualities that make him a player they want on their squad.
“He’s got a very high soccer IQ and it’s paying off,” Scott said. “He knows how to use his body very well.”
Smith partly attributes his success to the chemistry amongst him and his teammates. Scott and Steele conquered with Smith in regards to the team chemistry, saying that it’s been key to the team’s 4-0 start this season.
Steele said that in past years, the team chemistry has had it’s ups and downs, but this year is different.
“This year, definitely from an upperclassman standpoint, every single [first-year] fits in and buys into the program that we’re trying to build and he’s just another piece of the puzzle,” Steele said.
In order to become an important piece of the puzzle, Smith had to fit in with the rest of the team. That can sometimes mean finding a role model to look up to. Smith said he’s been looking up to Promise Kpee ever since he spent his overnight trip with him as a recruit. Smith said he looked up to Kpee to see what he did, so he knew what he would have to do to earn a starting spot on the team.
Even though the younger players often find role models by looking at the upperclassmen, that can sometimes be a two way street.
Steele said that when he sees younger guys working hard, it makes him work even harder. Steele said that Smith is a perfect example of that because of his work ethic and his positive attitude.
Steele, along with his coach, had plenty to say about the importance of Smith and his abilities as a player.
“I can see him being a very good player for Keene State for four years,” Scott said.
Steele agreed, saying that he has the potential for a successful career at KSC.
“If he keeps going how he’s been going and keeps pushing himself day in and day out, I think it’ll be a great season and a great career for him,” Steele said.
“It’d be a totally different team without him and we’re very lucky and very happy that he’s with us.”
Crae Messer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org