Final Shutout Does Not Diminish Dream Season By Christine Rowett It has been revived. The men's soccer team that just two seasons ago won only three games, this year ended with a record of 17-3-3. And they were thisclose to the NCAA Division III championship when unranked Bethany College of West Virginia broke a scoreless tie after 107 minutes in the Nov. 19 title game played at Trenton State College. A season the Baltimore Sun called "storybook" might have been daunting for some. But the Hopkins players--for the most part--have managed their academic, social and athletic careers simultaneously. "They all work very, very hard," coach Matt Smith said of his near-championship team. "They showed everybody that they are as serious on the field as they are in the classroom." Senior midfielder Dave Kohlmyer admits he is surprised at the team's success. "I didn't think we'd make it that far," he said. "Every game we played the other team was supposed to beat us." He credits Smith and the coach's encouraging style for the change in the team. "Everyone likes playing under him," Kohlmyer said. "He makes the whole team want to try and win." Smith said the psychological aspect of coaching was not a challenge. "They wanted to win," he said. "Once you have that desire, just shaping and calming it down sometimes when you need to is easy." Smith said as a former player--and Towson State's MVP in 1987--he is keenly aware of the stresses college athletes face. A part-time coach who also teaches middle school in Bel Air, Smith admits he has made sacrifices in his own social life. "I don't have one," the 29-year-old said, "but it's well worth it." Team co-captain Chris Borris said it was a challenge concentrating on his international studies work in the midst of playoffs, which began at the beginning of this month. "When we reached the later rounds, as soon as we won, I couldn't help but think about the next game," he said. Some of his professors, Borris said, have rescheduled tests and offered extra study sessions. Borris was not, however, one of several athletes who took their exams on the road and, in one case, on an airplane. Smith served as proctor. Though the eventual loss was disappointing, Borris said he will remember his final soccer season Hopkins. "It was hugely exciting," he said. "Playing for a national championship was a once-in-a-lifetime deal." Borris and Kohlmyer--both graduating seniors--said they will miss being members of the Blue Jays next year. "I do regret graduating," Kohlmyer said. "The team is going to be really good in the next couple of years."
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