Division I Transfer Plays Role in Success

Brett Johnson, Sports Editor

After 107 minutes of scoreless play, the men’s soccer team was ready to grab their first Commonwealth Coast Conference win and remain undefeated. Sophomore Ryan Miller helped make that possible.

In double overtime on the road against Nichols College on Sept. 15, he received a cross-field pass from junior Stathi Panagiotidis and kicked it in. It was his third goal of the early season.

He scored the game winning goal again a few weeks later on Sept. 26 in a tough non-conference match against Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Thirty-four seconds into overtime, he headed in junior Colby Decker’s corner kick.

“[I was thinking] thank God, we won. Both of those wins were a crazy couple last minute goals, such a relieving feeling. It’s just unreal,” the Hillsdale, N.J. native said.  

When he was 3 years old, Miller loved running around and playing games, so his parents decided to sign him up for soccer. He has been playing ever since and couldn’t imagine not playing in college. He uses the sport in college to stay motivated and active. 

Miller is a sophomore but he wasn’t on the Hawks’ roster last year. He was enrolled at Rider University, a Division I school in New Jersey. He was on their roster, but didn’t play during the 2017 season which influenced his decision to transfer. 

“I chose Rider because I thought it was a cool opportunity to go Division I and I thought it was going to be a really cool experience, but I didn’t really enjoy it that much so I transferred,” Miller said. “[Not playing] was pretty tough. [I had to] put the team first which was something I’ve always done but it was definitely a hit to the chest.”

Miller decided to transfer to RWU this year. Some of his friends were attending RWU and enjoying their experience so Miller decided to check out the school by doing an overnight stay with the soccer team.

“I really enjoyed the players on the team. I saw that the team chemistry was really high which was important to me,” he said. 

Out of the 15 games the Hawks have played this season, Miller has seen the field in each one, but has only started five. Despite this, Miller has played an important role in the team’s success by being one of their top scorers with four goals.

“Honestly [not starting] doesn’t really mean anything to me. It’s all about who’s going to be on the field and who’s going to make the difference. As long as our team wins, that’s all that matters and I think everyone on the team understands that,” he said. 

Since this is his first season with the Hawks, he didn’t experience their late-game heartbreak to Western New England University in the CCC Quarterfinals, but to him, it wouldn’t have mattered if he was on the field. 

“Even if I was there or wasn’t there, I like to put everything that’s in the history in the past. I like to look at everyone with a new face…everyone is going to bring different things,” Miller said. “I don’t really look at past results and compare them to future games. Some people like to do that but I’m not one of those people.”

After their road game against Curry College on Oct. 17, the Hawks will have two home games against Wentworth Institute of Technology and Western New England University to cap off their season before heading into the tournament. Miller is expecting a long-run in the playoffs.

“[My expectation is] to keep playing until it’s over,” said Miller. “Expect nothing less than a championship.”