Rhode Island College Student-Athlete Journal

Peter Ceprano, Men's Soccer

Being a Rhode Island College student-athlete is not an easy task. Through the years it only gets harder. Managing school, work, and your social life is almost impossible. For me, when I step onto that soccer field your world changes. You forget about everything else that's going on in your life, and think about two things: your role as a player and winning. After practice and games, it's back to reality.

Last week was a big week for us. Our top two defensemen returned back to our lineup after being hurt for most of the season. It was now time to prepare for Keene State, the first place team in our conference. This meant a difficult week at practice. After our game got canceled against Bridgewater State, that was our green light to work hard. The Thursday before our game we worked hard for 90 minutes straight. How I know this is because we timed it with the women's soccer game. This was not your average workout. This workout consisted of plyometrics, sprints, running and calisthenics. After the 90 minutes were up and everybody had survived, we felt ready.

The next practice was no time to let up. At that practice we had to prepare mentally on our roles, and how we were going to win as a team. Even though we ended up losing to Keene State [4-2 on Oct. 13], we played very well. It was a game we should have won. We needed to carry on this intensity to our next game, Western Connecticut State, which was one of the biggest games of the season for us.

Western Connecticut beat us twice last year, once during the regular season and once in the playoffs. It was time for us to seek our revenge. Western Connecticut was traveling four hours down to our field this year. They play their home games on a turf field, which makes them difficult to beat. Off the turf, they are a different team. We defeated Western Connecticut 2-0, almost clinching us a playoff spot with a home field advantage in the first round.

My schedule as a student-athlete is very demanding. I wake up at about 9:00 AM each day and I return home at 6:00 PM. At home, I eat, shower and hit the books. After a home game on Saturdays I work until 9:00 PM. After 9:00 PM, I socialize with my friends, and then relax on Sunday. When Monday comes it's back to work again.

I have a lot of confidence in this year's team. It is a group of talented players. Our coaching staff is excellent. They never give up on us, and they push us to improve each day both on the field and in the classroom. Every time I step onto that soccer field it is always a great experience. If the team keeps up this high intensity and work ethic, we will make it to the NCAA's [Division III NCAA Championships].


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