I do not regret the many hardships I met,
because it was they who brought me to the place I wished to reach.
I carry with me the marks and scars of battles
they are the witnesses of what I suffered
and the rewards of what I conquered."
- The Warrior of Light
Hey everyone, I realize the season is over and I’m finally writing my last blog entry. Things hadn’t been going as I had planned here in Fairfield, so instead of updating you every week, I hoped we would get through this adversity so I could write an entry about how despite all the ups and downs, we made it into the MAAC tournament to defend our crown. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It was a strange ride for us, especially for me. We played fairly well during our out of conference schedule, but by the time conference play came around, we were extremely inconsistent.
I was in and out of the starting lineup all year. I didn’t play in our 4-2 loss to Iona, and I only came on for the last 25 minutes of a 0-2 loss to St. Peters. The next weekend I got the starting nod and we dominated Manhattan 3-0, putting us at 1-2. The next weekend I started again against Rider and while we dominated the first half, I came off at halftime. We went on to win 3-0, but I had a feeling I was out of the team for Sunday. I was right, and I watched from the bench as we lost to Loyola 3-0 and put ourselves in a big hole for the last 4 conference games, starting with Niagara the next Friday night in upstate New York. A loss would eliminate us from the MAAC Tournament and effectively end our season.
It was a very disappointing feeling, but I knew there was only so much I could have done. I knew that I had given everything to this season, and all three of the conference games we won were games that I had started. The games I wasn’t involved in were tough to swallow, especially when we wouldn’t get the 3 points. Around the halfway point of the season, I had the feeling I should go someplace else in the spring to help my development. Because of NCAA rules, you can only play 4 games in the spring as a team and train very sparingly. It really isn’t enough for players to develop, as players in the top leagues have trained 2.5 hours a day over 10 years, for a total of at least 10,000 hours. In order to get closer to that 10,000-hour threshold, I decided I needed to go someplace where I could play lots of games and train with a high quality team. And with that… my big announcement…
Like my first blog of this year, I want to end my last blog on a similar note. Soccer is a journey, and the journey only ends when you decide to hang up the boots for the last time. If I accomplish nothing for the rest of my playing career, then at the very least I hope I will inspire whoever reads this to never give up on your dreams and continue to persevere and work hard for what you believe in. I believe that I have more to contribute to the game of football than what I have so far, and I am off to learn a lot about myself, both as a person and as a footballer. I am excited and nervous because I have no idea what to expect, but what I do know is that I will come out of this as a better player and person than who I am now, and that’s all I can ask for.
I will keep you all up to date with how I’m doing and what it’s like to play in Ireland. I’ve also included a short highlight video of my 2012 season for those of you who weren’t able to make any of the games. Thanks for reading, God Bless, and Go Stags!