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Medaille puts its soccer successes in rear-view mirror

In all honesty, they really didn't know their stats until their coach sent them an e-mail in preparation for their senior night festivities.

Sure, the Medaille men's soccer seniors knew they had won a lot of games and made an impact on regional Division III soccer.

Still to them, they have plenty left to accomplish in the next few weeks.

Looking back at the past feels a bit unnatural, even a bit uncomfortable since the Mavericks are focused on returning to the NCAA playoffs and getting a chance to contend for a national championship.

The current tally for the senior class -- most successful senior group for Medaille soccer -- is an overall mark of 66-11-5 with a regular season conference record of 31-0-2.

"That doesn't matter right now," said senior co-captain Jared Reisdorf of the win-loss record. "We just have one goal and that's a national championship. Until we achieve that, I don't think we're going to go out and look back at anything. There's no point in looking back now. We're going straight ahead."

Straight ahead is the hope of hosting the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championship for the fourth straight year.

The Mavericks are 6-0 in the conference and in first place, heading into today's home game against Pitt-Bradford at 3 p.m. They play their final home regular season game at 8 p.m. Saturday against Pitt-Greensburg.

When they came in as freshmen, a handful of talented players already had helped build Medaille into a respectable program.

But since that time, this core of seniors has helped elevate that level. The players have that calm, quiet confidence in which they expect to win every time they step on the field.

"I think that the whole school expects that, too, not just us," Chris Griffiths said. "When we came in freshman year, we were just trying to get to the playoffs. As we got deeper and deeper and were winning more games, we realized we could do this. Freshman year we went to the NCAA tournament and we realized we can go farther and farther. That's our ultimate goal this year."

Medaille lost its first four games in a difficult beginning to this season, in which it has won 10 of its last 11 overall. Granted, the competition was top-notch -- Christopher Newport, Virginia Wesleyan, Fredonia and York College -- but starting 0-4 isn't usual for the Mavericks.

"Challenging ourselves in the beginning of the season, I think, was very good," Reisdorf said. "We didn't lose because we were the weaker team. We lost because we didn't get the breaks at the time. And we were telling the guys all along that we've got to start creating our own breaks and it's better to get the breaks at the end of the season than at the beginning."

The strength of the Mavericks is the leadership core of the senior class -- which includes Griffiths, Jared and Jacob Reisdorf, and Josh Waclawski along with Eric Schmitz, who has been junior varsity captain for four years.

"It's hard to put into words what they've done," coach Dan Krzyzanowicz said. "They've worked extremely hard to uphold integrity in the program. . . . They're very confident individuals, confident, focused players and I think they've been able to rub that off on some of the younger players."

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>UB Digs for the Cure

The University at Buffalo volleyball team will host a "Dig for the Cure" fundraiser during its 7 p.m. match Saturday against Western Michigan in Alumni Arena. Fans can pledge $1 per dig for the Saturday game or a flat-rate donation. The Bulls will also be selling memorial ribbons for $1. For more information visit www.buffalobulls.com. All proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for The Cure -- WNY Affiliate.

e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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