Men’s soccer ends season with major awards

Mia Pantano, Herald Reporter

Roger Williams University Men’s Soccer (No. 2 seed) defeated the Suffolk University Rams (No. 4 seed) in a CCC championship thriller, taking home their first conference title since 2006. Soon after, the Hawks competed in their first NCAA tournament since 2013, but to no avail.

The Hawks greeted their roaring fan section on Saturday, Nov. 5 for the CCC championship game. With their season and a conference title on the line, both the Hawks and the Rams were ready to battle. And battle they did, with the score tied at zero by halftime.

Despite many scoring opportunities in the first half, neither team could find the back of the net. Then, in the 54th minute, junior forward Justin Horvath scored the Hawks’ first goal, assisted by junior defender Niall Shea. The Hawks’ energy soared from there, with another goal scored by freshman defender Liam Blaisdell, assisted by junior midfielder CJ Sousa, in the 59th minute.

The Rams scored their only goal in the 88th minute, but they saw an early defeat. The Hawks had the upper hand in both score and excitement.

The Hawks did not stop their achievements at the CCC Championship title. The team also took home several major awards for their accomplishments this season. Head Coach James Greenslit was named CCC Coach of the Year and junior goalkeeper Jack Avellar received Defensive Player of the Year. The all-CCC Men’s Soccer First Team honor was awarded to senior midfielder Javi Beltran, junior goalkeeper Jack Avellar, junior forward Justin Horvath and junior defender Niall Shea.

Sophomore midfielder Jack Wildermann and sophomore defender Jason Salley received all-CCC Third Team honors. Beltran, Avellar, and Blaisdell also swept the week of November 8 for CCC honors. They received Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Rookie of the Week respectively.

On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Hawks faced the Saints of St. Lawrence University in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Hawks and the Saints played their hardest for 90 minutes but with no result. The Hawks outshot the Saints 23 to 22 with 10 shots on goal compared to the Saints 7.

After two overtime periods, the Hawks and Saints went into a shootout, where the Saints prevailed with a 5-4 shootout win and will move on to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Despite a 0-0 draw against the #15 Saints, the Hawks battled hard until the very end.

Men’s Soccer finishes their season with an overall record of 14-3-5 and a conference record of 6-2-1. Despite the NCAA loss, the Hawks returned to Bristol with six all-CCC team selections, two major CCC awards and a brand new CCC title for the trophy case.