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New faces, new season for Men's Soccer

It is the beginning of a new soccer season and the Maccabees are not only looking to rebound from last year’s poor showing, but to perform beyond the unimpressive expectations. Last season, the team took a step back, with a 1-12-1 record, including a poor 0-9-1 conference record. Compared to their 4-10 record ago from two years ago, the men’s soccer team is looking to recover and finally get some conference wins.

With only five returning players from the 2010 season, however, uncertainty marks the upcoming 2011 season. The five returners are led by third year player and captain Brian Wiener, who, as right defensive back, will anchor the unique flat four defensive line employed by coach Tony Elmore. In addition to Wiener, the other team veterans are fourth year Shai Barel, myself (a third year), and second year players Daniel Benchimol and Joseph Blechner.

During the preseason, Coach Elmore spent time on learning the system that he likes to run. In the back, the flat four defensive backs (as compared to the standard diamond formation) were taught how to play a line that is designed to trap offensive forwards into being offside. In the midfield and forwards positions, the team was instructed on looking to attack and getting more shots on goal this year. To achieve this, the team is hoping to utilize the skills of our two very talented offensive midfielders, Daniel Benchimol and Jack Sztrigler. Other highlights of the preseason included a grueling practice regimen (4 practices a day!) fitness tests (which agility drills, ladders, and the infamous “bleep” test, and technique drills.)

The rest of the team’s roster will be filled with the new players. It will be very interesting to see how their talent and skill will match up to the competition (especially since this piece was written before the start of games). But the members of the team are confident, ready to shock the conference this year, and eagerly looking forward to the upcoming season.