Story and photos by Henry Slater
This year’s men’s soccer team is quickly making its mark as they head into the remaining two-thirds of the fall season. They are currently 5-3-0, and have five games left to play.
“I think it will go well,” said coach Joel Grossman (of the remainder of the season). “We are a young team, but we have good talent and good leadership, and for these reasons I think we will continue to improve and get better results as the season progresses.”
Starting defender, Alex Marinelli echoed the coach’s assessment. “I think we’re going to do very well,” he said. “We’ve been getting better every game and I think we have the chance to do some damage.”
There is a clear reason for their success, and that is the amount of work that they put in off the field during daily practices.
“There’s a lot of running,” said Marinelli. “It’s definitely high intensity the whole time.”
Grossman described the practices as demanding. “We spend two hours, usually four days a week, preparing for our two matches each week,” he said. “This takes a toll on the players, and they need to be mentally strong to stay focused throughout demanding practices and long weeks.”
At a Monday practice, the team’s work ethic was evident. The team was in the midst of a type of three-on-three drill that required a significant amount of passing and frequent back and forth running.
While most of the team worked on this drill, a couple of players went aside to work with the team’s goalkeeper, training him on making saves that, in a game setting, could be vital to the team’s success.
Immediately after completing the three-on-three drill, and working with the keeper, the team took only a minute for a water break, and continued straight into a full field scrimmage.
The team also does a significant amount of training in the off-season.
“Our coach gave us an off-season workout packet that we needed to complete before the season started,” said Marinelli. “It was an eight-week program.”
Grossman added, “During the spring we do small group trainings a couple times a week, and additional strength training.”
The 2012 Orcas are successful not only due to their indomitable work ethic, but also because they are a diverse group. “We try to recruit locally as much as possible,” said Grossman, “but this year we have a handful of players from out of county ranging from the Seattle area, to southern Washington, California, and Alaska.”
This year’s team has clearly been making the effort to be successful this season, and their efforts have paid off. Students can show their support on Wednesdays and Saturdays when the team typically plays. “We have an offensively talented team and are exciting for spectators,” said Grossman. “So I encourage fellow WCC students to come see us play and show their support!”