Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Seniors Set to Say Goodbye to Hilltop

They all want to play forever, but that just wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the Big East.

Last Wednesday, Georgetown seniors Scott Larrabee, Len Coleman and Mark Zeman all saw their college careers come to an end after a loss in penalty kicks at home in the first round of the conference tournament to DePaul. It was a painful way to end another year of hard work, but it affords the opportunity now to honor the members of this year’s graduating class and to examine their contributions to Georgetown soccer.

From day one, midfielder Scott Larrabee never missed a beat. The standout senior played in every game he ever suited up for as a Hoya, from his freshman year all the way through to last Wednesday – an amazing feat. Of those 74 matches, he started the last 61. Even Cal Ripken would be impressed.

Larrabee tallied seven goals – including four game-winners – and nine assists in his time on the Hilltop, good for 25 career points. The California native has also received Big East offensive player of the week and Big East academic all-star honors multiple times over the last four years. When he graduates, Larrabee intends to take his double major in marketing and management from the McDonough School of Business to the marketing or finance industry. A former high school All-American, he has been the go-to guy in the Hoyas’ midfield for the last two years, and there is no doubt that his absence will be felt come next fall.

“I think they’ll definitely miss all three of us because we’ve been consistent players over the years,” Mark Zeman said of himself and his classmates. “But I don’t think they have too much to worry about. . They’re a great group of guys. I think they’ll be fine.”

The Hoyas, however, will lose more than just their left back when Zeman departs at the end of the year; they will also lose their only team captain. Zeman has been a calming presence both on and off the field for Georgetown in his two years of wearing the yellow armband.

With regard to 2010’s captain, Zeman isn’t sure who it will be, but he isn’t worried about the future of the position.

“There are so many guys to choose from,” he said. “I couldn’t really put one name on it right now.”

A double-major in finance and operations in the MSB, Zeman also looks forward to beginning his career in business after graduation. He says he isn’t done playing soccer, but he will miss the camaraderie he has shared with his teammates at Georgetown.

“The best part about playing is meeting the friends that you’re going to keep in touch with well after your college years,” Zeman said. “Some of these guys are going to be your best friends.”

Larrabee and Coleman echo their captain’s appreciation of his teammates.

“I will miss them all a lot, and I wish them luck on their future seasons and times at Georgetown,” Larrabee said.

As for defender Len Coleman, he isn’t sure what he’ll do with his major in psychology from the College after this spring. What is certain, however, is that the Hoyas will need someone to fill the 6-foot-4, 220-pound gap that Coleman leaves in the back four.

Coleman has been the anchor of a sturdy Georgetown defense for the last several years and will always be remembered as the loudest voice on the field. Under his leadership, the Hoyas posted a school record 10 shutouts in 2008 and another eight this season. While he leaves without having scored a goal or recorded an assist as a Hoya, Coleman’s abilities have been greatly appreciated by his teammates, coaches and Big East competitors; the New Jersey native was named to the preseason All-Big East team earlier this year.

Now that all is said and done, it is undeniable that this class of players has been an integral part of the Hoyas’ ascendance to the top ranks of American college soccer.

“We didn’t even make the Big East tournament my first year,” Coleman said. “But I think the culture is going to keep growing, and soon [expectations will be] to make the Big East tournament every year, and then to make the NCAA tournament every year. It’s cool to be part of that transition.”

Zeman has noticed the same wave of improvement.

“It’s great to see where our team has come since our first year,” he said. “It’s been such a dramatic shift from my point of view. . I feel like I’ve improved as a player and that the team has gotten better every year.”

Nothing is more indicative of the program’s improvement than the Hoyas’ 2-0 victory over perennial national powerhouse UCLA this September, a consensus choice among the seniors for greatest on-field collegiate memory.

As they prepare for life after Georgetown soccer, each senior says he would advise his younger teammates to cherish each match and to learn from the game.

“I think each year goes by a little faster than the last,” Zeman said. “Just play each game like it’s your last.”

Coleman’s advice is perhaps the most significant of all.

“As you get older, try to take the lessons that soccer gives you,” he said. “Try to apply them to life. Try to adapt and become a better teammate – and a better person.”

For now, the sun has set on the Hoyas’ disappointing 2009 campaign, and next fall will not be any easier after the loss of the three seniors. Expectations will be high again in 2010, however, as Head Coach Brian Wiese tries to lead Georgetown to that elusive NCAA tournament berth.

“They’ll be fine,” Coleman said confidently. “It’ll sort itself out. They have a great returning core, so they’ll be all right.”

When Len Coleman says it, he makes you believe it. But in the end, only time will tell. “

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