Head to BrooklynEagle.com for LIU Brooklyn fall sports previews
College sports are back in action and LIU Brooklyn is one of the biggest schools in the borough with it’s men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball open their schedules on Friday. All three teams are on the road, though, so you won’t be able to see them in person. Instead, Blackbird fans can head over to BrooklynEagle.com where I’ve written LIU Brooklyn fall sports previews for all three teams.
Here are short excerpts from each.
Men’s soccer (Last year: 5-10-2; This year: picked to finish 8th):
When LIU Brooklyn men’s soccer coach T.J. Kostecky heard that his team was picked to finish last in the Northeast Conference this season in a recent coach’s poll he laughed.
“I think it’s fantastic because it’s going to be a great motivator for our guys,” Kostecky said. “That’s wonderful actually. When you believe in yourself and others don’t believe in you it motivates you much more. Honestly, that’s one of best things I’ve heard all day.”
Kostecky has a good reason to feel confident because after a slow start to last season, the Blackbirds made big improvements and finished the season with a 4-3-1 record. They ended the year in fifth place and only missed the playoffs after a loss to rival St. Francis College, the eventual NEC champions, on the final day of the season.
Women’s volleyball (Last year: NEC Champs; This year: picked to finish 1st):
Fresh off a Northeast Conference title in 2007, the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds were already good when Kyle Robinson took over the team. Since then, though, he has turned them into a powerhouse. They have won four NEC titles, Robinson has won three NEC Coach of the Year awards and the team currently has a 30-game winning streak in NEC games.
Now it’s time for the Blackbirds to turn their attention nationally.
“This is an amazing team we have here right now,” Robinson said. “When I first got here, they had good players, but it wasn’t really a program. It was kind of this door that was swinging and people were coming in and out. So we took some time to build a program. It didn’t happen overnight, but I think we’re ready to take it to the next level.”
Women’s soccer (Last year: 8-11-1; This year: picked to finish 2nd):
It might be Jim Robbins’ first year as head coach of the LIU Brooklyn women’s soccer team, but he expects the team to win right away — and would eventually like to see it compete annually in the NCAA tournament.
“The pieces are in place to do something in this first year,” Robbins said. “We have almost the entire roster coming back, and the kids coming back have a lot of experience. Even last year’s freshman class saw a lot of games last year. So we’re setting the bar pretty high, and from what I’ve seen so far […] I don’t think there is any reason we can’t push for a Sweet-16 run.”