Best Friends on the Big Stage


Credit: QBSN | Kaylyn Terry

Ben Kane, President


11 minutes remaining and already up 3-0, you finally get a chance to check in the game. Touch after touch you are slowly gaining confidence, but it’s not enough. Seven minutes left and you know you need to make something happen. Looking right you see one of your best friends being substituted on. He picks up the ball right around the center of the park and slips you through on goal. One and one with the keeper you just take it one touch at a time until it’s in the back of the net.

Having been in Hamden for 18 seasons now, men’s soccer head coach Eric Da Costa has built a program that is centered around family morals and the development of players right from the get-go.

“We don’t have a lot of transfers in or out and the reason for that is we develop within and give guys opportunities when they come,” Da Costa said. “Hopefully they can keep that mentality and see that mindset and the light at the end of the tunnel.”

After the Bobcats MAAC Championship loss in 2020 and with the passing of the guard from senior players like Paulo Soares, Jared Mazzola, and Jordan Bennett to name a few, a new generation of players was looking to make a name for themselves. Players like Sam McCann, Jared Smith, and Alexander Stjernegaard have taken this to heart and very early on proved why they would be the ones to take the program to new heights.

“Jared Smith is probably one of those guys who didn’t have much opportunity early on [across his first 2 seasons] and now he’s a 90-minute player for most of these games,” Da Costa said. “That happens a lot in our program and that’s just a part of the culture of what we do and who we are.”

Players like Drew Seguro and Ryan Lim have taken a bit of a different pathway up until this point, but are finally proving to the league why they will be a force in the near future.

“Those guys get it,” Da Costa said. “They want more and they should want more. They’re working for more and I think that as the year goes on and their career goes on and if they continue to keep that mentality and work rate we’ll certainly see those roles grow.”

In Saturday’s matchup against St. Peter’s both Lim and Seguro took full advantage of their opportunity. 84 minutes in and Seguro was sent on the breakaway by his best mate Lim.

“At the moment you’re not really thinking about it too much,” Seguro said. “You’re just focusing on making the right play but right after it went in, it doesn’t feel real and you don’t really know what to do.”

Pandemonium soon ensued in Hamden with the Bobcats bench fully emptying to celebrate the two second-year’s first-ever collegiate points.

“We’re a really close group, especially off the field,” Seguro said. “A lot of time we’ll hang out together and spend time together. They want me to do well and I want to do well so whenever someone scores a goal we all get as excited as if we all scored it.”