Dec. 5, 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.
With the end of this soccer season comes the end of my UIC soccer career. There have been ups and downs since I was here, but this year was a great way for the 2013 senior class to go out. My fellow seniors should walk out of this program with our heads held high, knowing that we helped right the ship and get the program back on the right track. An undefeated record in conference is a feat that no other team will be able to beat, and despite not making the tournament, we get to walk away with that accomplishment.
This season was bittersweet knowing that we set so many school records, yet failed to make the NCAA Tournament. We may not have achieved all of our goals, but this year I got close to a group of guys that helped me become a better man and a better human being.
The team was my second family, and whenever I needed them, they were there for me. I will truly miss each and every one of you, and that feeling we felt after each game that we won and loss together. You all have a bright future ahead of you on the soccer field. Make sure that you cherish these moments and leave your heart on the field every time you cross those white lines.
I am going to miss many things I never thought I would while playing at UIC -- the early mornings training at 6 or 7 a.m., prowlers, and divot fixing our field. Over the years, I dreaded that, but I will miss suffering through those times with my family.
With finals vastly approaching, I leave my readers with my final thoughts before my UIC career officially ends. To the remaining players, remember how horrible it felt to lose that conference tournament game this year, and use that emotion to drive you into next season. I expect that this upcoming season you will find a way to be even better than we were this year. Keep that chip on your shoulder and make us seniors proud. I wish you all the best of luck in the years to come.
To every member of the Flames family that I have encountered, thank you. Each one of you has helped me on the field, in the classroom, and in becoming the best man I can be.
I will always be a Flames fan. Go Flames.