Oct. 31, 2013
CHICAGO - Senior men's soccer player Josh Beard will be providing Flames' fans with an inside look into the 2013 squad with a weekly segment called `Blogging with Beard'. Beard will blog about team traditions, traveling, memorable moments and many other aspects that make the UIC men's soccer squad unique. Aside from being a starting defender for the Flames, Beard is also a communications major with an interest in creative writing.
At the start of every college season, every team has three goals in mind: winning the national championship, winning its conference tournament and winning its conference title.
Yesterday evening, our team secured first place atop the Horizon League with a 1-0 win over Oakland. The joy that swept over our team was incredible, knowing that all of our hard work is starting to pay dividends.
When we reported for pre-season this year, we had the mentality that anything less than first place would be unacceptable. We have had great team chemistry throughout the year and have battled through some very tough times. In years past, we dropped the 1-0 games, but this year we have found a way to stick those out and get the victory.
The mentality of the team this year is that no matter what we did last game, it is not enough and we want more. This is the mentality that sets us apart from past teams I have been on at UIC, when we became complacent. Our team refuses to give up and whenever a new obstacle is placed in front of us, we rise up and meet that challenge.
Last night was especially special for me. This being my fifth year, and having suffered through many failed seasons, scoring the game winner was more than I could have ever imagined. It felt as if all my hardships were vindicated in that one moment.
When the final whistle blew and we knew we were champions, it was a celebration. You could feel how proud our staff was and the smiles all around proved it. I could not have asked for a better group of guys to win this trophy with, the entire team holds this trophy up together.
We still have two more trophies to win but, for now, we shall enjoy this one.