The Medical Department Activity finished the 2018 soccer season without a loss, picking up a forfeit win May 15, the final night of the regular season, on Field 2.
“I’m very proud,” said Marian Niemotko, MEDDAC coach, when asked about his players’ performance over the course of the season.
“They’ve worked hard. They deserved every single win that they got, and I know for a fact they will continue to play hard,” Niemotko added.
Niemotko said that, since the beginning of the season, players have worked hard to improve their communication and passing skills.
Assistant coach Gerald Natalroman, who credited Niemotko and fellow assistant coach Jonathon Johnson for assembling the MEDDAC team, said part of the intramural champions’ success was due to an early start.
“We started practicing pretty early,” Natalroman said. “We had a couple of returning players from last year that played, along with some players who were new but had experience. With the practicing, the players were able to mesh together and just feel each other out before the season even started. So, before the first game, we had already established positions and kind of knew what each other’s strengths and weaknesses were.”
With a forfeit victory in hand, MEDDAC held a practice match with other players at Field 2.
Earlier May 15, the 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, won a shootout to break a tie against the 169th Engineer Battalion for a 2-1 win.
In the late game, the 5th Engineer Battalion held off the U.S. Marine Corps Detachment for a 1-0 victory.
Eight teams took part in the six-week series, which began April 10.
MEDDAC finished at the top of the standings with a season record of 7-0. They were followed by the 5th Engr. Bn. at 6-1; the 14th Military Police Brigade, 554th Engr. Bn. and the Marine Det., all at 4-3; the 3-10th Inf. Bn. at 2-5, the 169th Engr. Bn. at 1-6 and the 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, at 0-7.
With the regular season completed, teams turned their attention to the 2018 Commander’s Cup Soccer Tournament, which began Tuesday and is scheduled to conclude tonight.
Natalroman said heading into the tournament undefeated was significant for MEDDAC in some respects, but added that teams will start the tournament, “right back at 0-0 again.”
“It gives us a slight advantage, but then again, if you go out there and lose, then the regular season doesn’t make any difference,” Natalroman said. “So, on the one hand it matters, but on the other, it doesn’t hold that much weight.”
The tournament’s third-place match is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight, with the championship scheduled for 7 p.m. All matches take place at Field 2.