Second-year Malizia finds place with men’s soccer

(Photo by Kate Turner)

After a disappointing loss last season that cost them the chance to make the playoffs, the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks men’s soccer team is looking to avoid history repeating itself. And one of their biggest asset in helping them achieve this so far comes from rookie midfielder Sean Malizia.

“We were trying to turn around our whole mentality this year and so far we’ve gotten off to a great start,” said Malizia. “We’ve got a lot of young talent mixed with veteran players so we’re looking to make a run in the postseason that’s for sure.”

Although this is Malizia’s first year on the team, he is currently in his second year of business.

“Last year, I didn’t think I’d be able to handle my workload along with soccer,” he said. “But then I figured since I had a good experience in first year that I’d be able to do it this year and so far so good.” Classes weren’t the only reason he took some time to decide.

“I also never thought I would be able to compete at that level,” Malizia said. “But I watched a couple games last year and I figured if I really worked hard I could compete.” Soccer has always been a major part of Malizia’s life from a young age.

“Growing up, I didn’t really play too competitively,” he said. “The last couple years or so is when I started to take it more seriously.” Malizia hasn’t been the only one in his family to excel at the sport, however. His sister, Heather Malizia, played for the women’s soccer team for five years and was a major factor in their success of recent years.

“I’ve tried to follow in her footsteps and she’s definitely left some big shoes to fill,” Malizia said. “She’s a big role model and I’d love to have some of the success she’s had in this program.”

His sisters are also what drew him towards Laurier in the first place. “Both my older sisters went to Laurier so I sort of followed them,” he said. “Laurier also has one of the best business programs in the province and that was a major factor to my choice as well.”

However, Malizia isn’t just about to let his sister’s stardom leave him cast in her shadow. He was named Laurier’s male athlete of the week Sept. 3. “I was very surprised by that, I’m not going to lie,” he laughed.

“It’s definitely been a big boost to my confidence and helped me become more comfortable at this level of play.” Malizia knows the biggest key to his success is teamwork.

“I have a great supporting cast, lots of great teammates and two of my roommates are on the team so it’s nice to be able to have them to keep things soccer-oriented,” he mentioned.

“If I’m not feeling it, they’re there to pick up the slack and we keep each other motivated.” Malizia also knows that the only way to make the postseason is to constantly improve.

“I have to get more comfortable on the ball, it’s higher paced than anything I’ve ever played,” he said.

“Every day I practice and learn everything I can from the coach, which I hope to contribute to the team.”

What does the future hold for the rookie midfielder?

“I’m not 100 per cent sure. I’m just going with it right now, trying to get my degree and I’ll see where that takes me.

“Right now I’m just happy to be a part of a successful young team who are looking to improve their fortunes this year and the coming years.”

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