By Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY Not only has Kienan Garn, a 2007 Sullivan West Central School graduate, earned playing time for the Western New England College (WNEC) men’s soccer team in each of his three seasons, he scored a goal in the team’s recent National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III tournament match.
On Nov. 15, Garn scored on a header off a corner kick in the 36th minute of the opening half of the Golden Bears’ second-round match against the Wesleyan Cardinals. Tony Rosa took the corner for WNEC and Garn was able to jump up amid a crowd of players and use his head to deflect the ball past the Cardinals’ goalkeeper and into the net. Shawn Fitzpatrick was credited with the assist on the tally.
Unfortunately for Garn, his teammates and coaches, nationally-ranked Wesleyan evened the match with a second-half goal before eventually prevailing on penalty kicks, 5-4.
WNEC ended its season with a 16-5-4 overall record.
It was the second goal of the 2009 season for Garn, who is an industrial engineering major. The Lake Huntington resident scored one goal in each of his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Golden Bears.
While Garn played either midfielder or forward in his four seasons with the SW Bulldogs, he has played the forward position all three seasons with the Golden Bears.
This was the second time in Garn’s three seasons at WNEC, which is located in Springfield, Mass., that the team’s season ended in the second round of the Div. III tourney.
In 2007, Amherst College defeated WNEC by the final score of 3-2. Last autumn, the Golden Bears were upset in the first round by Amherst on penalty kicks, 4-2.
WNEC ended the 2008 campaign with a 16-1-6 overall record.
In all of Garn’s three seasons with the Golden Bears, the team has captured the TCCC (The Commonwealth Coast Conference) regular season championship and won the TCCC postseason tournament in order to earn a spot in the Div. III tournament.
Garn, who was home for a few days for Thanksgiving, said he is already looking forward to the 2010 season. While he would like to score at least two goals in his senior year, team accomplishments are more important to him.
“I want to help the team continue to win,” he said.
“I love being on the team,” Garn added. “Playing college soccer on the national stage is absolutely amazing.”