Rising Star to Watch: Applefield seeks to excel in leading role
Published: Monday, September 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 3, 2012 19:09
Every soccer team needs a talented and versatile player on the back line to make the key plays that make or break games. The men’s soccer team has found that player in Ben Applefield ’14.
Applefield is a junior who has made quite an impression at left back. He totaled five assists and even slotted home a goal last year.
He has continually made an impact on the defensive end of the field and the expectations are high as Brandeis seeks to make the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament. Applefield is just the sort of utility player that they need to make it to the tournament.
He generally plays left back but, to add to his strengths, he can also move forward and attack when needed at any point in the match. The squad thus boasts a new angle of attack that is a useful weapon against opposing defenses.
Hailing from Connecticut, Applefield was recruited by Brandeis coaches after playing for a club team in high school. He stated that he viewed Brandeis as an opportunity to play at a rigorous level.
“I just really liked that I could come and play competitive teams,” he said.
Applefield also noted that he chose Brandeis due to the team’s consistent perseverance and dedication to improvement. He cited that two of his many secrets to success are that he practices constantly and that he loves to dissect film whenever given the opportunity.
“I love looking at film and asking myself how I can improve,” he said. “There are always ways that you can better your game.”
Applefield distinguishes himself from other players on the field with a vast knowledge of the game and his touch on the ball. He also is unique for his boundless passion for the game.
“Soccer’s the thing that I love the most,” he said. “I really just enjoy playing.”
Applefield stated that the Judges, after losing backs to graduation last year, do face an imposing hurdle in resurrecting the backfield for this year.
He stressed though that they have already made significant progress on that front with several new additions.
“We’ve already improved a lot in just a few weeks since the beginning of practice,” he said.
He isn’t shy about setting the bar high when asked about the team’s prospects for the upcoming season. His goal is to help the team make the NCAA tournament in any way he can.
“We were really close to making the tournament last year ... it was a good learning experience for us and our mentalities different now ... expectations are higher,” he said.
The Judges just might accomplish that goal with a player like Applefield.