College of Marin Men’s Soccer finished up a positive, albeit hectic 2016 season with both individual and team growth on the rise. While the results may not belie the quality of the team, they improved from week to week and competed well against some of the strongest opponents in the state.
The season began with a tough stretch against regional opponents, but it took just six matches for the team to pick up its first win of the season. They emerged victorious 2-0 over Siskiyous College on September 12th, courtesy of a pair of goals from Francesco Coccaro.
The next positive result for Marin game against Ohlone College on September 20th, as a furious match resulted in a 0-0 draw. Despite the inability to find the back of the net, the team performed very well defensively as Keeper William Finnie had his second shutout of the year.
October 4th at Yuba College saw the team’s highest offensive output of the year as they defeated the 49ers 3-2. After falling behind both 1-0 and 2-1, Marin rallied with two goals in the final ten minutes to take the victory. William Connelly, Francesco Coccaro and Jesus Villeda all added to their goal accounts in the thrilling match.
Head Coach Jake Morrison on the season, “There are a lot of takeaways from this fall, one of the main ones is that as a group we are hungry for more. In such a short season there can be times where you are recovering more than you are developing, so we are looking forward to a spring season where we can continue to work and progress as individuals and build the elements of a successful team."
Sophomore Henry Mata was the on fielder leader for the team, both through his play and his work ethic. He led the team in goals with six and spread them out evenly across the year scoring a single goal in six different matches. He was named the Team MVP for his exploits all over the field.
Freshman Cesar Ramirez was deemed the offensive MVP for the Mariners. The forward scored three goals across the season and was a constant threat to the opposition’s goal. He scored in the first game of the season against Chabot College, and twice more in the team’s 5-2 loss to College of the Redwoods on September 10th.
Luis Bernal received the Defensive Team MVP award. The freshman from Richmond High School played in 17 games and anchored the backline for Marin. He was on the defensive group that recorded both of the team’s clean sheets, against Siskiyous and Ohlone.
The Coaches Award went to Francesco Coccaro. While he had a disjointed season due to injury, his presence was always felt when he was on the pitch. He scored five goals in just 10 games including a brace in the team’s win against Siskiyous and another goal in the win at Yuba College.
The team has several potential returners for the 2017 season. For Morrison, "Overall it was a season that showcased this group’s character on and off the field and we are excited by the growth throughout the season and by the potential of all members of the program."