By Adam Levine
By Dante Curry
The Framingham State Rams ended their season with a loss to the top-seeded Bridgewater State Bears 1-0 in the MASCAC Tournament semifinal game Nov. 3.
Senior defender Cam Lau said, “Our goal is always to try to win the MASCAC, so when we don't, it always feels like the season is cut short.
“I still felt like the season was a strong performance for us,” he added.
Framingham started the season hot, with a 3-0 win over UMass Dartmouth.
Goalkeeper Joseph Sturzo saved 11 shots in this impressive season opener.
In the opening week of the season, Framingham swept the MASCAC Weekly Awards when Sturzo earned Defensive Player of the Week and freshman forward Kaio Santos da Silva earned both Rookie and Offensive Player of the Week.
In addition to Santos da Silva, the Rams’ young roster consisted of many freshmen, up to eight of whom regularly saw the pitch.
Senior captain and midfielder Kunphel Sinha said all of the freshmen “carried their weight for the team.”
After their strong 4-1 start on the season, the Rams hit a cold streak.
Over the span of eight games, from Sept. 19 to Oct. 14, Framingham lost six games, tied one, and won one.
Lau said, “We had some low points that we found a way out of and continued to work hard to our goal.
“Our coaches pushed us and made the changes when we needed to find a way to win,” he added.
After their bounce back, the Rams ended the regular season with a five-game win streak.
Framingham rode their momentum to a 3-1 double-overtime win over Worcester in the first round of the MASCAC Tournament.
The Rams boasted many individual standout performances during the season.
Sinha scored seven goals and four assists, which totaled 18 points during the season. He earned 2023 MASCAC Offensive Player of the Year, which also earned him a spot on the MASCAC All-Conference First Team.
Three Rams, none of whom are graduating, earned spots on the MASCAC All-Conference Second Team: junior defender Lachlan Forgan, sophomore forward Gustav Hemmingsen, and freshman forward Kaio Santos da Silva.
The Rams hung up their cleats with their loss to the Bears, but are hopeful for next season.
Lau said, “I think people can expect another strong group of guys hungry to win and prove themselves more.”
After his final season as a Ram, Lau said, “I’m sad to leave the program since it has given so much to me.”
He said it has been a “pleasure” to be a part of the men’s soccer team’s dominance in the MSACAC and he knows it will continue in the future.
Sinha said, “They say the end of something is the start of something fresh, and that’s what the fans should expect.
“We still have a lot of young talents and I believe in all the guys to work harder in the offseason to get back the MASCAC title,” he added.