The men’s soccer team made a huge turnaround this season, in no small part to sophomore midfielder Chris Cvecko. Coach Brandon Bianco highlighted Cvecko as a foundational leader in the young team. “I thought we had a pretty good season. We lost a few close ones that could have gone either way,” Cvecko said, “Overall, I thought we greatly improved and I’m looking forward to next season.”
Cvecko was the Spartan’s leading offensive weapon with seven goals and seven assists on the season. He took on a leading role with the mindset of leading by example. His work paid off as he was named to the UAA-All Conference for the first time in his career. Pointing to the closeness and the dedication of the team as a whole explains Cvecko success. “I thought the team’s culture really stood out. We all worked as a team to get better,” said Cvecko.
Cvecko took on leading by example through his preparation for each game. Through working hard in practice he set an example for the first year players. “I felt the role I played with this young team was really leading by example. I just tried to give my best effort and work my hardest each practice and game, and hoped that others would follow,” Cvecko said.
In comparison to last season, Cvecko points to Bianco’s steady strong game plan approach coupled with the team’s hard work as the driving reasons for success. Cvecko personally used each previous game as a stepping stone to personal success. By reflecting on previous games and deciding what he could do better Cvecko was able to improve his play. “Coach Bianco came in with a plan to improve,” Cvecko said, “I believe that we are in the process of achieving this plan. I believe that our team culture greatly improved as well as our play.”
In looking back on the entire season Cvecko’s favorite game was the Sept. 17 victory against Penn State Behrend College. Cvecko lives nearby and the strong victory was a great game for him. “It was nice to score a goal when my family was there,” Cvecko said. Cvecko also had great games against Hiram College and University of Chicago; both were big wins for the Spartans and he scored three goals and two assists between the two games.
Off the field Cvecko is studying engineering and plans on majoring in both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. While it can be difficult to balance a varsity sport and any Case class load, Cvecko and the Spartans were able to achieve the 10th highest overall GPA in the nation. “Playing soccer really forces me to manage my time well. When I’m not in class or at practice, I’m usually studying or doing homework.” Cvecko said.
With the young Spartans primed to do big things in future years Cvecko will stand at the center of their advancement. As the team takes this season’s experience and applies it going forward, big things may be in store. “Really looking forward to next season,” said Cvecko, “I believe that we can do big things next year, especially since everyone has gained more experience.”