November 20, 2009

Roommates Take the Field

YORK, PA - Class is about to start for York men’s soccer freshman Mike Lansing (Gaithersburg, Md./Magruder), but he is still sleeping. Fortunately for him, two of his teammates, sophomores Matt Swiderski (Perry Hall, Md./Perry Hall) and Kyle Connolly (Stratham, N.H./Exeter), are also his roommates.

“Mike never wakes up, so usually I wake him up and we head to classes together,” Swiderski said about his teammate turned roommate.
 
Lansing, a transfer, met Swiderski and Connolly last spring playing offseason soccer with his new team. Shortly after, the three of them decided to live together on campus. Joining them would be Pat Glenn, a fellow student-athlete with the Spartan men’s lacrosse program as well as Al Lewis, Swiderski’s friend from home.

Both Lansing and Swiderski are accounting majors with four of five classes together this semester.

“We we wake up, go to class together, come back and take a nap before practice,” Lansing said. “After practice is when we get most of our studying done.”

Lansing notes he and Swiderski are very studious, always studying together before tests and quizzes.

“Managing soccer and classes has been tough but a lot easier since Matt is in four of my classes,” Lansing said. “If we ever have any questions, we just ask each other and usually one of us knows the answer.”

Living with two of his teammates has been beneficial to Connolly as well, depending on the circumstances.

“We definitely get the chance to dissect the games by playing and living together. But as soon as one of the other guys has a good game, the other two of us will have to listen to it over and over again,” Connolly joked.

Collectively, the Spartans are on the brink of one of the most important games of their soccer careers. York will tussle with Williams College Saturday, November 21, in the Sweet 16 round of the 2009 NCAA Div. III Men’s Soccer Tournament.

They arrived there by defeating Amherst 2-0 in the second round of the tournament, after topping Cazenovia 6-0 in the opening round.

During that first round win, Lansing earned two goals and one assist while Swiderski had a goal of his own.

At least that was the official scoring.

“I was so excited to score my first goal of the season at York during the NCAA Tournament,” Lansing said about the 78th-minute tally. “But then on the announcement they gave the goal to Matt.”

Swiderski said it was funny to see Lansing’s reaction on the field to the announcing error.

“As soon as my name was announced, he just threw his hands in the air in frustration,” Swiderski said of his apparently pilfered teammate.

Lansing said it was all in good humor, initially thinking, “Anybody but him.”

Although Connolly is not seeing as much playing time as he would hope, while backing up senior goalkeeper Ryan Hock, he still lightens any stress the tournament may cause him and his roommates. One example came during a team practice.

“We were practicing free kicks, and Kyle Connolly yells, ‘Stop service!’” Lansing said. “But instead of it coming out ‘manly,’ it came on in the highest pitch a man could make, and immediately both the offensive and defensive teams dropped to the ground in laughter.”

Connolly took off his goalie gloves and walked off the field, playing along, of course.

“It was pretty funny when it happened, but there are some obvious facts missing from his story,” Connolly said. “It was a cold day, and I was coming off a cold. My voice was already hoarse, and I had been yelling all practice throughout the drills because players need someone, typically a goalkeeper, to keep them focused. They are like little children and lose their concentration easily.”

Aside from living the lives of college roommates, they are varsity teammates focusing on the next game. For now, that next game is Saturday at 11 a.m. game against the Ephs at York’s Graham Field.

“Right now we are just looking at Saturday and taking it one game at a time,” Lansing said. “The most important game is Saturday.”

The sectional matchup winners of York-Williams and Christopher Newport-Stevens, who will follow the 11 a.m. match with a game at 1:30 pm, will play Sunday at 1 p.m. in York.

 

Matt Swiderski photo courtesy of Zach Clabaugh (www.sharpedgephoto.smugmug.com)

Feature written by Todd Shellock - York College sports information student-intern

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