Top News

Men’s Soccer Caps Season With Road Victory Over NOVA


The men’s soccer team finished off their season with a road win against Nova Southeastern College. Photo courtesy of Tom Kolbe

As the men’s soccer team earned a 2-0 victory against regional opponent Nova Southeastern College this past Saturday, they are keeping their heads high as the game officially concluded their 2014 season.
The Spartans will end their season nationally ranked with an impressive final record of 9-6-2, however, the team is slightly disappointed for not making it to the SSC conference tournament this year. As always, the men faced the challenge of being in the best conference in the country for men’s soccer where every opponent put up a fight and proved to be a strong team. Small errors that led them to the few losses they endured, kept them from qualifying for the tournament. “Those were key losses and games I felt we should’ve won… When you are not getting shots/chances you have major problems, it wasn’t about us not creating chances we just needed to be more efficient with our opportunities. In the end we must execute better and have more consistency,” said Head Coach Adrian Bush.
Although the season may not have ended the way they wanted, the seniors on the men’s soccer team will graduate in May. Working hard off the field as well, the senior line up successfully holds over a 3.5 GPA also recognized three of them on The Capital One Academic All-District list released to recognize the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances, athletically and in the classroom.
The six seniors were honored alongside their families and loved ones at a ceremony before their last home game/senior game against Rollins College. The sky’s the limit for them as many are going on to tryout for professional teams in both the United States and Europe.
Senior forward Kevin Knowles, who was not able to play in his senior game or final game at Nova due to a recent ankle injury, reflected on his senior year and experience playing soccer at UT. “Personally, going in I wanted to play my best and have a good showing for my final season, we all expected to at least make the conference tournament, but lost control of things which was a bit disappointing, but things happen and you have to move on and keep going. I’m glad I played soccer for UT, being on this team easily helped me make friends and we became a family. I most definitely want to keep playing in the future.” Knowles has the opportunity to tryout for a professional team in his home state of Colorado and a combine for three teams in Denmark.
Senior defender Andrew Clare reflected on his senior as well before playing his final match. “We are a good team, a really good team, and unfortunately the season didn’t fall the way we wanted to, and everyone has to take a little responsibility for it. It was a rollercoaster ride of a season but this sport is unpredictable. We are grateful to have a coach that constantly told us to keep our heads up, especially when I’m personally one to get real negative real fast. As far as my career here, I wouldn’t have come here if it weren’t for soccer, it turned my personal life and life on the field into one big love for UT, the way it went was meant to be.”
Clare plans on finishing his degree at the university. As far as playing professionally, he will start training for future tryouts; He got the opportunity last spring to go to Germany and play with a team and trained with the Tampa Bay Rowdies this summer as well.
In preparation for next season, there are no breaks for coach Bush and his staff. They cannot train with the team after the season due to NCAA Bylaw 17.1.7, and will get started with the team in the spring of 2015 for a short 45 day period as the NCAA allows them to train and play five exhibition matches during the off-season, which happens each year.
Recruiting for their future team is a never ending process, but Bush seems determined to find the best players to fill his 2015 roster.
“The future is very promising as we have an excellent returning class. We need to replace five senior starters which is never easy but we are committed to bringing in the right student athletes who have the winning mindset on and off the field,” Bush said. “Our goal is to win a national championship and we will continue to work on and off the field to get to that goal. We will bring in good character guys, committed to excellence on and off the field, that is the University of Tampa way.”
Regina Gonzalez can be reached at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: