October 29, 2010

Maroons battle NYU, Brandeis for UAA position this weekend

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Both men’s and women’s soccer are looking forward to a big weekend. Both teams will play NYU tonight and Brandeis University on Halloween.

Right now, the men’s team stands at a mediocre 1–2–1 in University Athletic Association play. With two upcoming UAA games, there is a lot of pressure riding on the team to perform.

“This weekend is very important to us,” explained third-year Ryan Tunstall. “We need to produce results in order to win the league. At this point winning is also necessary for us to qualify for the national tournament.”

Wins this weekend will not come easily. Coach Scott Wiercinski expects a challenge from both teams.

“These teams are pretty standard for our league in that they’re both good,” Wiercinski explains. “NYU is coming off a great streak. They’re coming in confident as the number-one team in the league.”

In order to win this week, the Maroons will have to continue the way they’ve been playing with better finishes.

“We’ve been playing well despite not having many wins recently. We just need to score more and be tidier in the back field,” said Wiercinski. “We’ve had a good week of practice, and the guys are energized. If we play well minute-to-minute we’ll have a successful weekend.”

Beating NYU and Brandeis is incredibly important to the Maroons if they want to be back in the mix to win the league. Beating NYU is especially important because they’re the number-one team.

“We have the right mix of guys, and this is a great opportunity to close the gap,” said Wiercinski.

On the women’s side, the team is going into this weekend 3­–1 in league play. At this point, the Maroons are looking to build on their previous success.

“I’m really proud of our team so far, especially since we’re such a young team,” said third-year Maggie Tobin. With only five fourth-years, the team hopes to capitalize on its youth.

“We feel really confident going into the weekend because these tough battles are our team’s personal favorite to play,” added Tobin.

Traditionally, NYU and Brandeis are not at the top of the women’s conference. However, the games will be tough battles because of the weight they hold for the Maroons’ season.

“These are two teams that cannot be overlooked,” said fourth-year Emily Benoit. “Two wins would really help secure our position at the top of the UAA.”

Winning this weekend, however, doesn’t just have implications for UAA play. Winning the league would automatically secure a bid to the national tournament for the Maroons.

“Getting an automatic bid to the tournament would be ideal,” Benoit said. “I am confident with the way we have been playing that we can get these wins this weekend.”

Overall, both teams look forward to some tough competition this weekend. Both teams have both UAA hopes and national tournament hopes riding on their performances.