Seth Brown had a unique distinction when he took over the Husson College men’s soccer program this fall.
For a handful of the players, he was their fourth coach in two seasons.
Scott Warman resigned after four years in 2004 to pursue other professional opportunities and Per Henrikson succeeded him last fall. Henrikson was replaced after 10 games by Husson women’s coach Keith Bosley, who filled in the rest of the season. Husson went 10-6-2, losing to eventual North Atlantic Conference titlist Mount Ida (Mass.) in the quarterfinals.
Despite having a young team, Brown has guided the Eagles to a 12-3-3 record, and their 7-2-1 NAC mark is good enough for the second seed in the upcoming NAC playoffs. Husson hosts Elms College (Mass.) in Saturday’s 1 p.m. quarterfinal.
“Seth calmed everybody down and gave the team organization,” said Shane Coffin, the 2005 NAC Player of the Year who is now assisting Brown. “We have a lot of young guys and he pointed them in the right direction.
“The players have taken to him. They all like him.”
Brown said when he met with the players last spring, they told him they wanted someone to be consistent in terms of discipline and organization.
He was more than happy to oblige.
“The guys know what’s happening every day and they know what the expectations are,” said Brown. “We set goals and they have been able to check off every goal on the board.
“They just wanted somebody who cared and who expected the right things out of them. And they’ve done a very good job. They’ve trained hard every day.”
One goal was to finish among the top four in the league, and of the Eagles second-place seeding, Brown said, “we’re very happy about that.”
Another goal was to reduce the number of yellow cards to 10 or fewer. They have received just 10 so far.
“Ten yellow cards in 18 games at the college level is pretty good,” said Brown.
“We not only want to play well, we want a [positive] perception in the community. We want to be classy. We want them to keep our mouths shut on the field and just play hard. The boys have responded to that.”
He said their positive approach has enabled him to allow them “to take ownership of setting the goals.”
He downplays his role in the team’s evolution.
“It’s all the players [who deserve the credit],” said the 32-year-old Brown.
They have been led offensively by Brazilian senior Oscar Ody (10 goals, 2 assists), Presque Isle freshman Nate Carter (9 & 2); freshman Japanese exchange student Hiroki Ueda (7 & 4) and sophomore midfielder Nattapong Konsuriya (5 & 6), who is originally from Thailand but played high school soccer at Hampden Academy.
Two other Japanese exchange students, Hiroshi Iwabuchi (4 & 4) and Yataka Matsui (1 & 0), have been productive midfielders along with sophomore Josh Bartlett (3 & 0) and junior Patrick St. Hilaire (0 & 1).
Former strikers Tony Thompson (1 & 3) and Jeff Truchon (0 & 4) were moved to the back line where they have strengthened the defense.
“We told the players we were going to put them in spots that made the team more successful even if it made them uncomfortable and they may not be doing exactly what they want to do. For the most part, they’ve accepted it,” said Brown.
Justin Gauvin also starts in the back along with Tim Mousette (0 & 1), who is the steadying force.
Husson has allowed only 14 goals while scoring 41.
“We scored a lot of goals last year but we gave up a lot. Seth has given the defense some organization,” said Coffin.
Madawaska’s Jon Cowie (0.89 goals-against average, .869 save percentage) has played 12 games in goal while Caribou’s Bradley Ala (0.34, .929) has seen duty in five matches.
Bates player candidate for trophy
Jamie Walker of Bates College in Lewiston is among 148 semifinalists, and one of 33 candidates from Division III, for the 2006 Draddy Trophy.
The award is presented by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame and recognizes the individual who is considered the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
Walker, a senior running back from Needham, Mass., is one of three captains for the Bobcats. The biology major, who carries a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average, ranked fourth in New England Small College Athletic Conference rushing in 2005 with 77.7 yards per game.
Walker ranks seventh this season at 56 yards per game and leads Bates with two touchdowns.
The award, established to honor former NFF Chairman Vincent dePaul Draddy, includes a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship.