College Soccer

Philadelphia College Soccer: A Plea

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Swarthmore, Pennsylvania is approximately 20 miles outside of Philadelphia.  It is a small and unmemorable town.

And yet this is where the best Philadelphia-area soccer team plays.  Swarthmore College is ranked 18th in the latest D-III poll and advanced to the second round of the Division III NCAA tournament after beating Merchant Marine Academy on Saturday. The highest ranked D-I program in the Philadelphia area is the University of Pennsylvania at a lofty #68.  Villanova slides in at #69, barely avoiding the ignominy that comes with septuagenarian status.

Covering Philadelphia’s college soccer scene is like eating dinner at your boss’s house:  The meat is undercooked, the small talk is excruciating, and the dog is convinced he has located a vast untapped vein of Kibbles & Bits somewhere deep within your crotch region.  Yet we have to put a good face on the state of college soccer in Philadelphia because it seems like bad salesmanship to introduce one of this site’s major foci by blasting it to shreds.


Here goes:  _____
I can’t do it.  It’s impossible, like Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson receiving proper punishment for being a childish whiner. Instead let us dwell only on the most negative of negatives; an exorcism by facing our demons head-on, perhaps?

Saint Joseph’s University men’s soccer finished their season on Sunday November 8th with a 0-3 loss to Saint Louis.  The last goal of the game is described on the SJU website:

“Bellomy took a shot from the right side that keeper Andrew D’Ottavi (Petersburg, N.J./Ocean City) got his hands on but the ball wouldn’t roll wide enough.”
I guess when you finish the year 0-17, it’s time to start blaming the ball’s poorly chosen rolling angles.

Saint Joseph’s scored six goals in their seventeen losses.  They never scored more than one goal in a game and lost only four games by a one-goal margin.  I am not listing this statistics mockingly, but rather with amazement.  This is a Division-I NCAA program.  They are allowed to give scholarships and offer a free education in return for representing their institution on the soccer field.  The Atlantic-10 has two teams in the top 25 in the nation (Charlotte and Dayton) and St. Louis is knocking on the door.  This is not a powerhouse conference.

It is clear that from UPenn at #68 to Saint Joseph’s at… well, hopefully they’re at soccer practice, Philadelphia’s college soccer scene has plenty of room to improve.  Coverage will be light until the teams resume play next August, but I can only hope that the bright spotlight Philly Soccer Page plans to cast upon Philadelphia-area schools can be more motivational than derisive.

In other words, please: Give me something to cover!

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