The Keene State College men’s soccer team is looking to make the most out of the fall season.
Just like most teams at Keene State, the players started off in pods of three. However, this week they were able to get into groups of 10.
“We have created a couple groups of 10; we have a group of three, that’s my goalkeepers; and another group of three that are considered increased risk players,” said Rick Scott, the head coach of the Keene State men’s soccer team. Scott noted that the increased risk players were players with conditions like asthma or diabetes.
“The pods were fun,” added Thomas Degnan, a first-year student on the team. “We were really excited when we were able to do [groups of] 10.”
The groups give the team an opportunity to play small-sided games. With many of the players being on campus, and now training together, they are getting a chance to know each other. These groups have a mix of underclassmen and upperclassmen.
“Everyone’s very welcoming and chill,” said first-year Farid Ghaliya. “Everyone’s on the same boat, we all like doing the same things. Everyone’s a great player.”
“It’s kinda hard for [the first year players],” said Yusufu Juma, a captain on the team. “They are fitting in very well.”
The team is also looking to do team building exercises once a week, while following the guidelines set by the virus.
“Nobody really likes to put the mask on. Keep putting the mask on. We are all in this together.”
However this season may go, all players are hungry to improve.
“I just want to improve,” said Matheus Martins, another first -year student on the team. “[I’m] not worried about playing time, not worried about starting; just trying to help the team as much as I can.” Ghaliya mentioned that himself and teammates have been working out in the gym alongside his training at the field to keep getting better.
However the season may carry out, Scott mentioned that keeping the year of eligibility is a point of emphasis.
“The sooner we find out if we are going to have an eight game conference schedule in the spring, we know right away that we will only have two scrimmages this fall.”
The team is also looking to have intrasquad scrimmages as a way to have contests this fall. These games would not count towards the total number of games regarding eligibility. Scott wants to have these games so that the players can play, as well as a way for parents to see their kids play. He has thought about doing commentary on the game, so that way parents can hear what there is to say about each kid, when parents are watching the game back at home. They would be treated like real games, under the lights at 7 p.m., with intros, the national anthem being played before kickoff, and many other aspects to the environment to make it game like.
However the season goes, Scott feels good about his group, and the vibe from the rest of the team is similar.
Ethan Winer can be contacted at: