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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

First-years on men’s soccer look forward to season

Published: September 6, 2013
Section: Sports

The Brandeis men’s soccer team had a phenomenal season last year, making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Two new additions to the team, first-years Kyle Robinson and Thales Brito, provide insight into what it’s like to join a team with a successful reputation.

Both defenders arrived at Brandeis on Aug. 18, moving in a week before the majority of the incoming first-year class. The early move-in allowed the boys to settle into their new environment and begin to bond with their teammates. The boys agreed that it was nice to be on campus early because it made acclimatizing easier. Robinson and Brito were both recruited by the soccer coaches and admitted that the spot on the soccer team strongly influenced their decision to attend Brandeis.

Although they have intense practices once a day for two hours, the boys reveal they are not too nervous about their academic grades being affected. Brito confidently explained that school would always come first. Robinson agreed but did show some concern about being able to attend his professors’ office hours. According to the two players, the coach constantly reminds them that they are student-athletes, the fundamental word being “student.” Robinson said that he believes his social life will improve, explaining that the upperclassmen have introduced him to many people. The boys assert they immediately felt welcomed on the team by the older players.

Robinson explained that playing time during the games depends on the skills exemplified during practices. Brito conceded that he did not expect a lot of playing time during the first few games. He made it clear, however, that he would be working hard to earn game time. Both players spoke highly of their head coach, Mike Coven. Robinson explained that Coven was a big reason why he chose to come to Brandeis, as Coven made an effort to reach out to him. Robinson described the coaches by saying, “They are intense but have good intentions and just want the best for the team.” Brito conveyed that he was most looking forward to playing against Babson because they are known to be one of Brandeis’s rival schools. He mentioned that he knew some of the players on the Babson soccer team but seemed confident that they would beat them.

The boys did not have any comical pre-game rituals. Brito said that he occasionally would listen to music, while Robinson teasingly answered, “I have none because luck is for the players that need it.” These guys know that the Brandeis soccer team has a strong reputation and hope to help maintain that standard. Although these two athletes love to joke around off the playing field, when it comes down to soccer, they are serious about the game they love.