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SU Men’s Soccer goalkeeper: "There’s nothing like it."

While the COVID-19 pandemic may not be over, Salisbury University’s reduced restrictions have made an impact, both in the classroom and on the field. Junior Gabriel Dunn, goalkeeper for SU Men’s Soccer, is especially excited for the upcoming season. “We’re a team of 32, we get to practice five days a week now, we get to have our season back, we get to play games, we get to be on the island together—all of that—it’s truly wonderful and makes you appreciate being out there with the boys a lot more.” Dunn recalls being sent home at the beginning of the pandemic—now noticing how drastically things have changed. “… I was a freshman when that happened… It was pretty isolating. Zoom became the biggest part of our lives every day.” When campus reopened last fall, many athletes found themselves joined at the hip with their teammates as social distancing and safety protocols were put into place. “The team, especially with this past year, with COVID, we basically spent all our time together because we couldn’t do anything else. So we’re a very tight knit group, so I’m always with the guys. I’m never not with the guys, basically,” Dunn said. While the pandemic has certainly presented many challenges, Dunn feels his teammates are closer because of it. “[In] any team atmosphere, you’re gonna be close with your people [teammates], but this team that we’re on right now is definitely a extremely tight knit group which, there’s love from the first to the 32nd player on the team, and anyone would have anyone’s back at any given moment.” One of Dunn’s favorite parts of being on the team has been the comradery when it comes to rival games—something he’s particularly excited about now that things are semi-normal. “There’s nothing like it,” Dunn said. Dunn is also looking forward to working under the direction of new head coach Scott Buete. “We are having our first-year new head coach Scott Buete, who was the head assistant from University of Maryland. He’s a great guy, and we love having him as a coach, so we’re excited and have been excited for that.” With the reduced restrictions and a semi-normal setting, Dunn is excited to work, grow and bond with his team throughout the semester. “I just think we’re just gonna grow so much as a team this year. It’s a pretty young team. We’ve got really good core of veteran leadership as well, and the combination of that is gonna be able to show as we progress throughout the season.”




Featured photo courtesy of Brad Boardman

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