The players of the Ramapo College men's soccer team are fondly looking back at their record-breaking 2010 season.
"We are like a family off the field, and that definitely helped us in every game we played on the field," explained Joe Kane, a sophomore Sociology major starting on the team.
Head Coach DJ Pinton is proud of his team's 11-3-4 record this season. "It was a bit disappointing at the end, being upset in the first NJAC playoff game, but overall we had a successful and enjoyable season. The guys learned and grew a lot. I'm proud of them," he said.
The team's season, which saw players breaking multiple conference, state and national records, was worthy of his praise.
This year, sophomore starting forward Rob Santaniello was named NJAC Offensive Player of the Year after breaking the nationwide Division III record for number of goals, 21, scored in a single season.
Santaniello also led the nation in goals per game, averaging 1.17.
The accounting major, who was named NJAC Rookie of the Year in 2009, shared his secret to success: "Soccer is about being a team. We all trust each other, and that's why our team keeps getting better," he said.
Clementi, a three-year captain planning on pursuing a career in math education after graduation, said, "There is no one on campus that I am closer to than my teammates."
Stockton, a three-time NJAC Defensive Player of the Week and goalie who topped the conference's rankings in three defensive categories this season, summed up the feeling of camaraderie on the team. "It's going to be hard to leave this team after graduation. I know I'll be friends with these guys for a long time to come," he said.
Now, the squad is looking forward to next season. Yazo, whose ten assists led the team this season, explained that players get together to play recreationally during the off-season, and they are anxious to begin training again in the spring.
"We just love playing together, and we make each other better; that's why we do it as much as we can," he explained.
Coach Pinton said that the team is also taking some of its time off to give back to the community that cheers it on at every home game. "It's important for the guys to give back to the people of Mahwah. I am a resident of the town, and they represent it," he said.
The soccer team was involved, along with all of the other sports teams on campus, with a Thanksgiving Food Drive, in which team-created food baskets and canned foods were donated to the Mahwah Center for Food Action.
Last fall, the team held a soccer game, pot luck dinner and clothing drive as part of Street Soccer USA, an organization that aims to help end homelessness in the area, through sports. The athletic department said it is planning another similar event this spring.
Mahwah native Brett Tracey, a sophomore defender, explained why this spirit of giving back is so important to the team. "This team and this college are part of the town. It's important to all of us," he said.
The 2010 men's soccer team was made up of 26 players, 11 starting. Offensive players were Danny Walsh, Zach Theinert, Frank Vogas, Andy Cesti, Francis Carr, Jonathan Yazo, Giuseppe Trani, Anthony Pasciolla, Kaz Tekelani, Bobby Menendez, Bryan Aguilar, Rob Santaniello, Joseph Kane, Anthony Sena and Shane Santiago. Defensive players included Jim Clementi, Dale Santiago, Chris Freeman, Jeff Walsh, Brett Tracey, Andrew Willcox, and Greg DiMauro. Goal Keepers on the team included David Lo Bue, Benjamin Reuter, Stephen Monaghan, and Brad Stockton.