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2 Boys Soccer players take next step

Two leaders of the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Boys Soccer team committed to play at the next level when Matt Clark ’24 and Arya Kouzehkanani ’24 signed to play in college during a ceremony in the Athletic Center on May 3.

Matt will play at the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut, while Arya will take to the pitch at nearby Springfield College in Massachusetts.

With Coach Bret Thibault flanked by two of his players, it was a proud moment for the WMA Boys Soccer program.

Quotes from Coach Thibault

Regarding Arya: “What truly sets Arya apart is his work ethic. He didn't just rely on his natural talent; he put in the hours, tirelessly working to improve his game and master his new position. Every practice, every game, he pushed himself to be better, to learn and to grow. His dedication, determination and resilience have paid off. Today, we see the result of his hard work as he takes this next step in his soccer journey. And let me assure you, his placement at Springfield College is well-deserved.”

Regarding Matt: “Matt epitomizes the values of hard work, dedication and teamwork. He always gives his best, both on and off the field, and his positive attitude and leadership by example have been invaluable to our team. As he embarks on this new chapter of his soccer journey, I have no doubt that Matt will continue to shine brightly. His talent, work ethic and passion for the game will undoubtedly make him a standout player at the University of St. Joseph.”

Quotes from Matt

On committing to college after five years at the Academy: “It’s definitely a very special day. Having everything come full circle, starting here in middle school and finishing it out in high school, it’s a meaningful day. Watching myself evolve … this day means a lot to me.”

On what drew him to St. Joseph’s: “Probably how similar it is to WMA. How the campus is laid out and how the academics are structured is similar to WMA. I’ve done so well here I don’t know why I’d change it. I want to keep the success going.”

Quotes from Arya

On signing: “It’s a special day. It was nice to have all my family and friends here. It was a nice moment, and I’m glad I got to share it with the people that I love. I’m very thankful for everything that the school has done for me and for the opportunity that I had today.”

On why he chose Springfield College: “(I was attracted to Springfield College for) the physical therapy program, and the soccer program. The physical therapy is one of the best in the nation. It has a really good reputation and I’m very happy I got accepted into the program. As for the soccer part, they have a solid program and I’ve been talking to the coach for a long time. He’s a nice guy and I think I’ll fit in well with the team. And when I toured the school, it felt like home to me.”


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