The life of a freshman athlete is far from glamorous. As freshmen midfielder Jarid Siegel knows all to well, when the time comes to carry equipment, fill water bottles, or clean up after team dinners the freshmen are called to duty. Yet those chores are insignificant in comparison to the rush Siegel feels each time he has stepped onto a soccer field with a Cornell jersey on.
Siegel has played in all five of Cornell’s matches this season. Coming on as a substitute in the Lehigh and Syracuse matches, his tenacity off the bench earned him a starting spot against Colgate. His ability to create chances and put the ball on net has helped him keep that spot each of the following two games.
“I didn’t expect to be starting or playing,” said Siegel. “I didn’t feel any pressure [starting against Colgate]. I was just hoping to get out there and make things happen.”
Siegel has been one of the sparks for a Red offense that has struggled to score early in this season. He is among the team leaders in shots, with five so far on the season.
“Jarid plays the game the right way. He keeps it simple and he plays quick,” said head coach Bryan Scales. “He’s a guy that’s very competitive, he’s got good instincts, he’s got good feet, and he’s comfortable winning the ball back.”
While Siegel may seem to fit in naturally on the field, the adjustment to college soccer has not always been easy. Besides getting through a preseason of 6 a.m. practices and grueling runs, Siegel had to adjust to the speed and intensity of college play.
“The guys are strong, they go hard, and they go fast,” Siegel said. “If you’re not ready and you don’t know what you’re going to do before you get the ball then you’re going to get hammered.”
Sophomore teammate Dan Marks remembered some of the struggles Siegel had adjusting to collegiate soccer.
“His mixing Gatorade in the preseason was awful, but he’s done well and really stepped up the Gatorade aspect of his game.” Marks said.
Marks’ twin brother and teammate Tom, commented on the non-sports drink aspect of Siegel’s play.
“It’s great when we have freshmen like that who can step in and play hard every game and practice,” he said. “His tenacity and his aggressiveness boosts our midfield and our whole team.”
Siegel is one of nine freshmen on this year’s squad, most of whom live together in the same dorm. The inevitable result of such a living situation is a fierce ongoing tournament of hallway soccer.
“Evan Smith is pretty nasty; probably the hallway champ” Siegel said.
Surprisingly there have been no broken windows or JA’s, yet, in the quest for hall bragging rights.
“No, No, that’s why were on varsity,” Siegel said. “We don’t break windows.”
Archived article by Paul Testa
Sun Staff Writer