by Isaiah Rosario, Staff Writer
Oct. 23rd was a picture-perfect day for the Manhattan College men’s soccer program. Before Manhattan played St. Peter’s University on the beautiful fall afternoon, seniors Thomas Hitchins and Simon Busch were honored for their careers here at Manhattan.
The Jaspers stood victorious against Saint Peter’s with a score of 3-0, with goals by Johan Velez (3), Dorian Bounab (1) and Oswald Annang (5).
As of Oct. 27, Hitchins has logged over 1,000 minutes playing in 12 of the 13 games of his final season, while Busch logged just under.
Senior day was full of emotion for both Hitchins and Busch.
“ I think for both of us, it was a very special moment because we know the season and the college career is about to end,” Busch said.“We don’t know if it’s gonna continue or not. But it’s definitely a special moment to wrap up these four years.”
“It was a great feeling at the ceremony for us two, with all the guys that we’ve played alongside for four years … we’re not done yet but it was a good final home Saturday especially getting a good solid win and hopefully kicking off our season from here,” Hitchins said.
Coach Jorden Scott also spoke to us about how he was feeling at the ceremony.
“Every Senior Day brings emotions…your time with these players goes so quick. You don’t realize it. And I’m always filled with pride on a day like that…it’s just their recognition for all the work that they did.”
Both Hitchins and Busch have been a part of the Manhattan College soccer program since 2018. Scott spoke on their growth as players since freshman year.
“[Hitchins] has grown tactically to a point where he’s able to organize everybody around them,” Scott said. “And I think that’s one of the things I’m happy about for him. He’s always had a skill set. It’s phenomenal. But his ability to organize that sense of tactical awareness and standing is through the roof for assignment. He’s sort of grown in his position.”
“For Simon, he’s sort of grown in his position. He came in as a center back. His demand of himself to get higher up the field and to contribute more, and to give more to the frontline and to attack with more purpose is certainly something he’s worked on … he’s grown into being a player that can play multiple positions, and it can be an impact going forward,” Scott said.
Coach Scott is often spoken highly of by his players and is seen as a rallying force yet calming for the team.
“I definitely say [Coach Scott] is more of the calming influence in our team. There are different characters within the team that bring energy and passion. And of course, he will say that whenever it needs to, but like it’s more in there to mediate the team and make sure we’re on the same page and they’ll always help us out with anything that we need. He’s not just there to come to us and kind of help settle down for the future as well,” said Hitchins.
Busch and Hitchins both had a final message for incoming freshmen for the soccer program.
“If I would speak to incoming freshmen right now, I would tell them to just look for to the future at whatever is coming because there will be a few moments within a semester where you actually think I don’t want to do it anymore. But you have to get through it in order to have these moments where you can actually celebrate the achievements,” Busch said.
“I would probably tell them to enjoy it, enjoy every moment of it. You build relationships with your teammates, get to know them. They’ll be with you for the next four years and probably continue being friends with them or for your future as well. So definitely come and enjoy it, and work hard. Don’t take things personally. Just enjoy it and get after it,” Hitchins said.
Scott also gave one final message to the boys before they graduate from the program.
“Remember to give back…they gave a lot to the program during their time here, no doubt. But they also know that there was a lot of giving to them from our school, from our program…scholarship time, energy, patience, and commitment,” Scott said. “[For] the two of them is to remember that we here provided an opportunity for the next guy to have the same experience.”