Leading the men’s soccer team to an 11-1-1 record and being named fourth in Division III, captain Jake Picard ’16 has started off with a promising final season at Brandeis.
He was named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 14 after milestone efforts of scoring two game-winning goals over the week. He then went on to score a third game-winning goal later in the week in overtime against Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Picard now has nine career goals, five of which have been game-winners. His three game-winners this season are tied for most in the UAA. He also shares the captain role with Connor Lanahan ’16 and Robbie Lynch ’15.
Beginning soccer at the age of five, Picard later played for the Suffield, CT, travel team and eventually joined a premier team that consisted of players from across the state of Connecticut. After his collegiate soccer career, Picard would love to continue playing and even coach. He describes soccer as having been a fundamental pillar in his life and intends to continue with it in the future.
The senior captain is currently a double major in Health: Science, Society, and Policy and psychology with the hope to attend graduate school to become a physical therapist. Picard’s favorite class here at Brandeis has been Comparative Anatomy with Professor Jim Morris (BIOL). He said, “I love learning about the human body, and Professor Morris’ brilliance was incredible to experience.”
When Picard is not on the field or in class he still loves being outside and active. He enjoys playing other sports such as tennis, golf and frisbee because the non-competitive setting allows for fun and relaxation. As a student-athlete, it can be tough to succeed in both school and athletics, but according to Picard, it all comes down to time management. “It is essential for me to plan out my school work and soccer schedule so that I can perform optimally in both areas,” he said.
Picard felt honored after being named UAA Offensive Player of the Week, but he was a little surprised because, as he said, “I play a possession-minded game and never thought I would receive this honor.” He further demonstrated his humble nature when he responded to a question about whether he has a favorite player or coach who inspired him. “I would say my whole team inspires me. It is incredible to play alongside such a talented group of guys every day, and experience firsthand their passion and commitment to the game.”
The captain went on to describe his leadership style as leading by example, trying to put forth his best efforts on and off the field in the hopes that his teammates will emulate his work ethic. Picard said that the best part of competing for Brandeis is “putting on the jersey and representing our school. We travel around the country for our UAA and NCAA games and have the privilege to wear Brandeis on our uniforms.” However, his favorite moment in his soccer career has been being a part of Coach Mike Coven’s 500th career win this season. He believes that the team was fortunate to be the group that was able to participate in this pivotal moment. “[Coach Coven] has been here 43 years, coached 43 different teams, and we were the team to get the 500th win for Coach.”
Picard looks forward to the rest of the season, hoping to make it further in the NCAA tournament than last year. The team is back in action this Friday, Oct. 16 for their homecoming game against the University of Chicago at 6:30 p.m on Gordon Field.