Last week marked the end of the regular season for many NYU teams, but on Monday, it was announced that two teams had made the postseason. Men’s soccer and women’s volleyball both qualified for the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament.
The women’s volleyball team will be a one-seed and earn a first-round bye, while men’s soccer will be the No. 2 seed in their pod and begin play on Saturday. Both teams had hopes of making it to the NCAA tournament this year, but are still excited to gain valuable postseason experience in the ECAC.
This season, men’s soccer got off to a slow start. The team lost its first four games before going undefeated in the subsequent seven, mostly in UAA play. This stretch helped them to an 7-7-2 overall record and marked some of the high points of the year for the team, including impressive wins over Carnegie Mellon University and Case Western Reserve University.
“For me, the highlight was the first game of conference, the three-nil win against Case Western,” SPS senior Ben Green said. “I was able to score my first goal since my freshman year, and after a long journey to get back with injuries, missing 18 or 20 months. That was good closure on my comeback, and it was good to win the game 3-0, too.”
After getting the opportunity to extend their season, the Violets are looking to use the tournament as an opportunity to grow and prevent a similar start to next season.
“We are happy to extend our season, to get more experience for our players and to get better,” head coach for men’s soccer Kim Wyant said. “The mindset is to go out and win. We want to keep pushing players to be better. We are still quite young, so we really want to get that experience.”
The women’s volleyball team enjoyed a strong regular season, finishing with a whopping 25-8 record. The team is also looking to use the ECAC tournament as a springboard for future success.
“We just want to make sure that we can keep our standard. We were able to do quite well last year and we’re coming in at a higher seed,” Steinhardt senior Sabrina Krebs said. “We want to make sure we maintain our high level of play throughout this tournament, and just wrap up the season on a positive note.”
Last year, the Violets won the ECAC tournament, and women’s volleyball head coach Andrew Brown views a repeat as a chance to continue building the prestige of the program.
“We feel like we had some good opportunities this year, but we also understand it’s a process, and we were able to close that gap where we feel that another good run — getting that postseason experience — will help us,” Brown said. “It’s going to be about being able to win big matches in big moments.”
Both teams are young, with only six seniors between them, so both are looking at these tournaments as a way to build for the future. But that doesn’t mean that the athletes are not hyper-focused on success in the upcoming games.
“We don’t want to go out on a loss,” Green said of the men’s soccer team’s aspirations. “The only way to make that possible is to win the whole thing, so our goals are for sure to win it.”
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