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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Senior midfielder Ethan Boyle reflects on time at AU

Men’s soccer star follows passion

If anyone knows soccer inside and out, it’s Ethan Boyle. The senior midfielder from Denver has been surrounded by the sport his whole life. Boyle’s dad Robert, played Division I soccer at Bowling Green State University. His uncle Bill also played DI soccer and has multiple coaching experiences at the DI level and currently coaches at Niagara University.

“I started playing soccer at the age of like four or five,” Boyle said. “I just fell in love with soccer and wanted to stick with it and it worked out.” Boyle praised his dad as someone he looks up to, “he’s always been my role model, and I’ve always looked up to him both in and out of soccer."  

Next year, Boyle will be a fifth-year student majoring in business administration and he will play in the upcoming spring and fall seasons. He plays center midfield for American University and was recruited by head coach Zach Samol as part of his first recruiting class. 

Boyle was spotted by Samol at Real Colorado in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, “He was on a really good team, and he was starting center mid for that group, playing in a similar system and style of play and so we thought he could fit in well with our group.”

Boyle acknowledged Samol as a key part of his soccer development over his time at American. “Coach Sam[ol] here, obviously, loves all his players, and wants the best for all of his players, which I think really goes a long way.” 

Over the course of his career here at AU, Boyle has scored 11 goals and 6 assists as midfielder, tallying his highest scoring season this past fall with 6 goals and 1 assist. However, he thinks he’s grown the most in the defensive and tactical side of the game. 

He credits this growth on this side of the ball to head coach Zach Samol.“As a freshman, I didn’t really know what I was doing on the defensive side of the game, but he’s really good with having those one-on-one conversations with players and doing film sessions,” Boyle said. 

Samol also heralded Boyle’s growth tactically over his time at American. “We’ve provided him with an avenue to become smarter tactically, and to understand the game in a more tactical way. I think his development tactically has grown tremendously over the course.”

Samol praised Boyle for his personal growth. “He has emotionally matured tremendously since his freshman year. He’s more grounded and confident in his own ability and who he is,” Samol said. “His fitness is awesome. His desire to get better away from training is awesome. His work rate is awesome and he has become a really important player for us.”

Having made so many memories at AU, Boyle singled out the time the team won the Patriot League Championship in 2020 as his most memorable moment as an athlete. “It’s hard to describe, but like winning a championship with your team is the best feeling and the celebrations were super fun. It’s something that you will cherish for a lifetime.”

As Boyle prepares to enter his final year next year, Samol talked about how he can continue to be a leader. 

“He can really improve on his leadership role and he needs to do that in his own way,” Samol said. “Whatever leader that is, he’s going to help the team tremendously in that role.”

As far as postgraduate plans, Boyle hasn’t made a decision but plans to follow his passion for soccer. 

“I love this game, so I would love to keep playing and since the age of five I’ve always wanted to play professionally,” Boyle said. “I try not to think too far into the future, I’m just focused kind of day by day, but I do want to play at the next level”. 

This article was edited by Penelope Jennings, Delaney Hoke and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Luna Jinks and Ariana Kavoossi.

sports@theeagleonline.com


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