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While the Hofstra University Women’s Soccer Team has enjoyed unparalled success this year (more about that in a post later this week), The Men’s Team has struggled at times to find an identity. With Coach Nuttall trying to blend youth and experience the Pride had remained down in the lower depths of the CAA Conference standings. While their back line remained solid, goals were hard to come by for Hofstra. With half the conference season over, the Hofstra Pride found themselves in 11th place. It would have been very easy for this young team to have thrown in the towel, gone through the motions and gotten ready for next year. Coach Nuttall would not allow this to happen.


That is how I found myself standing in front of approximately 20 young men in the visiting locker room at George Mason Stadium. The boys had forged a 3 game unbeaten streak that had vaulted them from 11th place to a 5th Place tie with 3 games left and only the top 4 teams qualifying for the conference tournament. Over the past 8 years, Coach Nuttall has allowed me to address the team during pre-season. These talks focus on Sergio and his dedication as well as a life lesson. While I had addressed the women’s team earlier in the year, scheduling troubles had delayed my talk to the men’s team until last Wednesday night.


This year’s talk focused on trust and how Sergio and his fellow firefighters had trusted each other on 9/11 and throughout the years. Being part of a team must include trusting your brothers and giving maximum effort even when things look bleak. Trust was an important element as the members of the New York City Fire Department entered the WTC on 9/11. Trust was the calming factor as these brave men and women climbed countless stairs to thier untimely death.


I hoped that the team would understand a little bit of what I tried to teach that night and it was soon evident that they did. A George Mason goal mid way through the first half would give the Hofstra team an opportunity to question their trust, but that was not the case. Their second half effort was relentless and an equalizer would come in the latter stages. Their hard work was further rewarded with a goal in the second overtime vaulting the Hofstra Pride to a 2-1 win and into 2nd Place in the CAA.


A home 0-0 draw with the 17th ranked Tribe of William and Mary College allows the Pride to control their own CAA playoff hopes with a win next Saturday at James Madison. I am confident that if the boys continue to trust each other and play with maximum effort, that they will secure a playoff spot.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 1st, 2010 at 7:26 am and is filed under Personal Stories, Scholarship Recipients. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.