Nov. 14, 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.
This season, we have had a lot of success, and have recently been rewarded for it. We had eight players win Horizon League honors and among those were Bob Novak, who won Co-Player of the Year, Andrew Putna, who won Goalkeeper and Freshman of the Year, and myself, as Defensive Player of the Year.
These awards are not only won by the individual players, but are also great accomplishments for our team. We have approached this season with the mentality that no matter what, we win and lose as a team, and these awards are no different. I can say that without the help of my other three back line members, my award would never have been possible.
Our team is more than just the award winners and the starting eleven that you see take the field every match. The reason we have been winning games is because of all the work that takes place behind the scenes with the guys that aren't on the field.
Those guys come out to train every single day with the mentality of getting better. They are trying their hardest to break into the top eleven. That mentality shows everyone else that when you come out to training each day, you are fighting for your spot. This makes every single player here that much better and allows for our team to improve each day.
They do not get a lot of recognition, but our bench has been a key to our success this season and they deserve to be commended. They have been working all season, doing all the little things right, and that has helped us to create a winning environment. Whoever gets their number called to come into the game and play has always given our team a lift.
All of them have made an impact on our team whether it is on or off the field. Our bench deserves more credit than I can give them, they are truly world class.