RIC Head Mens
Soccer Coach Len Mercurios teams record is currently
2-7-2 overall, seemingly not the sort of record that a team vying
for a conference championship might have. The Anchormen have
been playing an extremely tough schedule of non-league opponents
this fall, a schedule that Mercurio refers to as one of
the toughest in New England.
ourselves to perform well within our league [the Little East
Conference] we have strengthened our schedule, says Mercurio.
A lot of the games weve lost have been close and
weve seen strong competition. This is essential because
the Little East Conference (LEC) is such a competitive league
goals for the 2001 season are many, but there is no question
that their foremost goal is to be the Little East Conference
Champions, a triumph that would also earn RIC an automatic bid
to the NCAA tournament.
The Anchormen have
a solid core of veterans as well as some key rookies who together
are striving to reach that goal.
Mercurio sites senior co-captains James Williamson and
Pete Ceprano as very steady players, good leaders who have
the tough job of trying to carry the rest of the team to a conference
title. First-year players Scott Main, a junior, and Mike
Maciel, a freshman, are named by Mercurio as instant offense
and the future of RIC soccer, respectively. Main
is currently the leading scorer in the LEC with six goals and
two assists for 14 points. He scored a hat trick in the clubs
4-0 win over Johnson & Wales on Sept. 5. Williamson is second
on the team with five points, while Maciel and Brian Schimmel
are tied for third with four points each.
Pinhancos and midfielders Schimmel, Paul Sousa, and Johan Calderon
are described by Mercurio as being vital, our teams
success depends so much on them. Pinhancos, a First Team
All-LEC selection in 1999, is coming off of an injury plagued
2000 campaign. He has played every minute of every game in goal
this season except for 15 minutes in the win over JWU. He has
made 57 saves and has two shutouts to his credit this fall.
Coach Mercurio and
his assistants Brian Dougher and John Mello emphasize that teamwork
and unity are the most important factors in their team being
able to capture a conference title. I have stressed to
my players that they need to take a step back as individuals
so that the team can leap forward. I have been starting to see
positive signs of that type of unity lately, and that is what
will produce results, says Mercurio.
That unity and teamwork
did result in a 4-0 win for the Anchormen against UMASS-Boston
on Saturday, Sept. 29, the teams first league win. RIC
is currently 1-0-1 in the conference, having tied Little East
foe Southern Maine in a scoreless overtime game on Sept. 22.
Facing the leagues toughest teams is still to come for
the Anchormen, with LEC powerhouses Keene State and Plymouth
State on the horizon. Mercurio says, Were looking
forward to every game down the stretch.