by Ben Warnick, Assistant Athletics Director
When this past August rolled around there were questions surrounding both the Massasoit Community College men's and women's soccer programs.
Could the men's team make another run at a Region XXI Championship? Would the women's team even have enough players to compete for the season?
Those questions were answered as both teams far surpassed expectations by the success showcased this past fall.
The men's team under head coach Rui Estrela had its eyes on reloading to bounce back after falling in the Region XXI Finals the season prior. The women's program looked to improve under head coach Ruben Teixeira in his second season at the helm.
The Massasoit men's soccer team has a rich history of success, claiming the Region XXI Championship five of the seven seasons under Estrela. Unfortunately, the Warriors squandered out of the gates in 2013, starting off at 2-2-2 and owned a 6-5-2 overall record in the middle of October. For most programs, being above .500 would be considered a strong year, but the Warriors had averaged more than 10 wins per season with Estrela as head coach.
The turning point came on October 16, when Massasoit squared off against rival Dean College on the road. The Warriors would prevail, 4-3, marking the 100th career coaching victory for Estrela. That victory would spark Massasoit to get hot down the stretch prior to postseason play, tallying a five-game winning streak. That streak was capped by a 2-1 victory against Dean in the Region XXI Finals.
The victory advanced the men to the Northeast District Championship, where they dropped a heartbreaker in penalty kicks to ASA College. The Warriors had trailed early on, 2-0, rallied to take a 3-2 lead, but eventually fell in PKs after a pair of scoreless overtime periods.
The women's season was nearly a polar opposite of the men, using a sizzling start to begin the year at 4-1. The hot start would cool down towards the end of the season, as Massasoit would lose five straight contests setting up a marquee matchup at Springfield Tech CC on October 19. The winner of the final regular season match would advance to the Region XXI Finals, which the Warriors had only appeared in once since 2000.
Massasoit would break its losing streak, earning a 2-1 victory vs. STCC to take on Holyoke CC in the region championship.
The season ended for the women's squad at the Region XXI Finals at HCC, falling 2-0 to the Cougars in a hard fought match.
It was a successful season for the Massasoit soccer programs as both teams advanced to the Region XXI Finals, with one winning the championship. The two programs combined for 11 All-Region players and 14 Athletic Academic Honor Roll recipients.
The future looks bright for the Warrior soccer programs, and the freshmen that plan to return for their sophomore campaigns will have the opportunity to play on the brand new Massasoit CC Soccer Field next season.
Back on September 30, 2013, President Dr. Charles Wall broke ground to start construction on the new Massasoit CC Soccer Field with a groundbreaking ceremony that featured student-athletes from both the men's and women's soccer teams.
The soccer field will feature a brand new drainage system and new sod. Both programs are expected to play the 2014 season on the new field.