Chief Copy Editor
The Goucher College men’s soccer team is off to a strong start again this year with the help of Ethan DeBandi. The Gophers are currently 5-2, partially due to DeBandi’s
goalkeeping skills. The sophomore saved five goals in the team’s second game, leading to a 4-0 shutout after a 2-0 shutout in the season opener. They are having the most successful season since 2009.
The computer science and math double major chose Goucher for its small size. He said he was looking for a school where he could study and continue to play soccer.
DeBandi has been playing for 15 years, making his way from the local recreation league in his hometown of Eldersburg, Md., to a more serious travel league, Baltimore Bays United, until coming to college. DeBandi was also a member of the Maryland State Championship team where he was voted First-Team All-County and First-Team All-Conference as a senior.
This year was supposed to be a big comeback year for DeBandi after suffering an injury just three games into last year’s season. Initially, his only goal was to make it through the season so he could continue improving on the field. He also wanted to be in better condition than he was last year.
Unfortunately, DeBandi recently suffered from a concussion and sprained neck and is once again sidelined. Before the injuries, he felt like he was continuing to improve alongside his teammates in each game they played, and he hopes that they all continue to see improvement throughout the rest of the season so they can accomplish their goal of making the conference playoffs.
Last year the team’s goal was to make conference playoffs, a goal that will continue into this season. DeBandi said that the first three games of the season went really well, “which was encouraging for the team.”
Part of what is going to help the men reach their goal is the chemistry. DeBandi claims it is “the best chemistry of any [team] I have been a part of.” He continued to say that the team is like a family both on and off the field and the support system is very strong.
While the team is young and learning, they are off to a strong start. DeBandi also made sure to point out that they are capable of much more than they have shown thus far this season. The talent is spread throughout the team, and with that, they will continue to improve. He finished by saying that no single player, regardless of talent, can be attributed to the victories. “Everyone that puts on a Goucher soccer jersey has a part in the team’s success.”
The men are playing tonight on Belden Field at 7pm, so go cheer them on against Merchant Marine in their first conference game of the season!