By Lucas Dwornik Contributing Writer
Two years ago Coach Thomas Dinuzzo, who was essentially the sole reason I came to UMF, announced he was leaving, which made me heavily consider transferring. However, UMF has a very democratic way of selecting a new coach, wherein the athletic department narrows the list of candidates, then the players interview and vote on their pick for the next coach. After the first four candidates, I had an idea that UMF men’s soccer would be in good hands. I was certain of it after meeting Nathan Kronewetter, whose experience and knowledge was impressive.
Fast forward to now. This season we were able to make playoffs for the first time in three years and the record in conference doesn’t show that three of the losses were in overtime. While in a slump this year, Kronewetter tried everything to get us out of it which he successfully did. He changed formations, personal, and did what he could to give the team confidence we desperately needed. I trust Coach Kronewetter at the helm.
A team is obviously composed of its players, however, and there is reason for expectation. All of the Freshmen this year, first and foremost, are kind and well meaning student athletes and don’t mean to exclude any of them. That being said, there are a few players worth
After Matt Wilson’s time at UMF it’s frankly hard to imagine any other keeper wearing the strange #77 worn by our starting goalkeeper, but I don’t fear for our strength in the position. All three freshmen goalies this year have drive and will push each other, but Bradley Neal (Monmouth) stands out. He’s confident, has good reflexes, has a good goal kick (very important for D3 Soccer). His only flaw is that he’s a Manchester United fan.
This year our back line (Defense) had a different look with two newcomers playing big roles this season. Silas Mohular (Readfield), a state champion last year with Maranacook Community High School, is a “hidden gem,” in assistant coach Blake Heart’s mind as well as my own. Silas is good in the air, on the ball, and is overall dedicated to athletics, playing basketball for the Beavers as well. Jacob Atwood (Edmon), shows great potential at outside back which was relatively new to him this year, playing in a majority of the games at the position. It was also nice to have another vegetarian/vegan on the team to share the banter from the rest of the guys.
Sawyer Deroche (Fairfield), Yusuf Mohamed (Lewiston), and Ilyas Abdi (Portland) are the three freshmen this year who scored goals and I anticipate more to come from them. All are quick, and know how to beat a defender on the dribble. The transition from high school soccer to college soccer is particularly difficult for offensive players, and they’d agree that there’s room for growth. However, I can’t imagine a scenario in which these guys aren’t successful at UMF under a coach who teaches technique so effectively.
My time playing for UMF has been a mixed bag of sorts, but I find comfort in knowing the young men I’ve mentioned (and the ones I didn’t have space to mention) are the future of the program.
PS: Congratulations to the Women’s team on winning the North Atlantic Conference, and thank you to everyone in the athletics department (especially the athletic trainers) for all your hard work. Go Beavers!