Entering his sixth season and his first as a full-time staff member, Connor Erickson has rebuilt the Wentworth men’s soccer team into a contender within the Commonwealth Coast Conference and in New England.
The 2017 edition of the Leopards saw a final record of 10-8-2 which included a 5-2-2 mark in league play and earned Wentworth a home CCC Tournament contest for the third straight season. The Black & Gold defeated Salve Regina in the quarterfinals before bowing out with a 2-1, overtime loss at eventual league champion Endicott, marking the second time in the season Wentworth dropped a 2-1 decision to the Gulls. Those two losses were part of five defeats by a single goal. The semifinal game against Endicott marked the third straight season the Leopards had advanced to at least the CCC semifinal round and five of his student-athletes were named All-CCC, including Emmett Basaca, who also repeated as an All-New England selection.
In his first season (2013) Wentworth may have finished 2-15-1, however the Leopards would earn a spot in the CCC Tournament after missing the playoffs in 2012. Playing one of the toughest schedules in the country, three of Wentworth's losses were by a single goal and one of the two wins was over Roger Williams, which was regionally ranked.
The 2014 campaign saw a team that featured 15 freshman and finished 4-8-5, with the four wins eclipsing the win total of the previous two seasons combined. Three of the Leopards’ losses came by a single goal, including dropping a 1-0 decision to eventual Commonwealth Coast Conference Champion Nichols in the season’s final tilt.
A 6-0 start to begin the 2015 season was highlighted by a 2-1 win over 22nd-ranked Wheaton College at the start of the season. After suffering a three-game losing streak – with two of those losses coming by a single goal – the Leopards rebounded to win seven of their final eight regular-season contests and earned the number four seed in the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament. After defeating Salve Regina in the quarterfinals, Wentworth fell to Endicott. However, the Leopards earned their first ECAC Tournament berth since the 2009 season, defeating Norwich in the quarterfinals before falling to Springfield on penalty kicks in the semifinals. Five of his players were named All-CCC, including James Morrison who was tabbed as the league’s rookie of the year, and the Leopards finished above .500 (15-5-1) for the first time since 2010.
In 2016, Erickson led the Leopards to its second National Soccer Coaches Association of America regional ranking, as Wentworth topped fourth ranked Gordon, 3-1, to earn the #10 spot. In the midst of its national recognition for the second season in a row, the Leopards rode an 11-game win streak, outscoring its opponents by a 29-17 margin, while posting four shutouts during the stretch. The Leopards went on to win 12 games in a row, setting a season record with the achievement, and earned the second seed in the postseason tournament with an overall record of 11-3-4, and a 7-1-1 showing in conference play. After hosting the quarterfinal round for the second-straight season, the Leopards punched their ticket to the CCC finals with a double-overtime victory against third-seeded Gordon. Remaining the highest seed in the tournament, Wentworth hosted the championship match in their first title-game appearance since 2009. After the standout season, Wentworth landed six players on the All-CCC teams, including two players that were named to the NSCAA All-New England teams.
Erickson came to Wentworth from Bridgewater State, where he was beginning his second stint (2009-2010; 2013) as an assistant men’s soccer coach. Prior to returning to Bridgewater State, he served as an assistant coach at Wheaton College (2011) and UMass Boston (2012) as well as serving as the boys’ junior varsity coach at Canton High School during the 2008 season. At the collegiate level he has extensive recruiting experience at the high school, club, and prep school levels at both the regional and national levels.
A 2008 graduate of Wheaton with a Bachelor’s degree in history, Erickson played three seasons for the Lyons and served as a student assistant coach during the 2007 season when an injury sidelined him. During his career Wheaton posted a 56-20-11 (.707) record, capturing four straight New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference regular season championships and three NEWMAC Tournament championships while advancing to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four seasons. The 2004 season saw the Lyons finish 17-4-2 and earn a berth in the sectional semifinals.
Erickson has worked the Canton Soccer School since 2000 and was elevated to the position of assistant director on 2011. He has also worked the Brian Ainscough Soccer Academy and the Elite 8 Soccer Academy and holds a national diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
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