WESTON, Mass. – Entering the 2018 season, the Regis College men's soccer team would welcome back 10 returning players from the previous year, led by Derek Triana (Port St. Lucie, Fla.), the all-time leading scorer in program history, and Jesse Bonilla (Ramona, Calif.), the starting goalkeeper and one of the team's captains.
The Pride would also need to incorporate 13 newcomers, including three transfers from Mount Ida College, as well as senior Brendan Plasczynski (Bristol, Conn.), who returned to the squad after not playing at all in 2017. Following an appearance in the GNAC Tournament semifinals in 2017, the Pride finished fourth in the preseason coaches' poll.
Regis started the 2018 campaign with a dramatic 1-0 overtime victory at Lesley, the first of five victories by one goal for the Pride. Regis played its first five conference matches on the road, collecting a 1-0 victory at Emmanuel and a 1-1 tie at Lasell during that stretch.
The schedule did turn around for the Pride, as six of eight matches were held at Regis Stadium. Regis posted a 5-2-1 record during that span, highlighted by three consecutive shutouts at Pine Manor, at Rivier, and against Becker. However, a 3-2 overtime loss to Colby-Sawyer pushed the Pride back into a tie for seventh place in the GNAC regular season standings at 4-5-2.
The Pride traveled south to face Johnson & Wales in the quarterfinals of the GNAC Tournament. Although Regis played much better in the second meeting against the Wildcats, a goal by Johnson & Wales late in the first half held up, as the Pride could not create enough offense in the 1-0 loss that eliminated them from the conference tournament.
Despite the loss, Regis posted a winning overall record for the fourth straight year, ending up at 8-6-2. The Pride scored 27 goals, averaging 1.7 goals per match, but allowed only 23 goals for a 1.38 goals against average, including five shutouts.
Ken Niyonzima (Dracut, Mass.) ended up as the team's leading goal scorer for the season with nine goals, including seven goals in GNAC matches. Triana missed three contests due to injury but still finished with six goals, while Fabyanno Furbino (Port St. Lucie, Fla.) made all three of his goals count, as they came in three straight contests and were credited as game-winning goals.
Triana earned Second Team All-GNAC honors, as did midfielder Jared Barroso (Central Falls, R.I.), one of the Mount Ida transfers who was a steadying force in the middle of the Regis attack. Niyonzima received Third Team All-GNAC recognition as well as the team's Most Valuable Player award.
Besides Bonilla, the defense was led by junior Scott Holcomb (Natick, Mass.), the team's Most Improved Player and Regis's representative on the GNAC Men's Soccer All-Sportsmanship Team. Plasczynski was called upon to play a more defensive role for the team and did so without complaint, and the Pride also received defensive contributions from sophomore Sal Madera (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and freshmen Diego Roman (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) and Nick Scavetta (Nashua, N.H.).
Andrew Barros (Malden, Mass.), Bonilla, Plasczynski, and Triana saw their collegiate careers come to an end, but Regis seems to have enough experience moving forward. That should keep the Pride in contention in 2019 and beyond.