Isaiah Saint Hilaire
Jon Milligan looks forward to making an impact for the Spartans this year. Entering his Junior year at UNCG, the goalie is anticipating a prolific season for himself. He looks to redefine his skills and help the Spartans take that number one spot in the SoCon standings. Asked about his views on the team and how he views himself as a player, Milligan’s responses were very humble as he spoke about how he believes that UNCG can be the best in the Southern Conference.
When asked about where he sees himself and the team so far in practice, his response was, “Everyone’s really excited and motivated to be back. It’s typical, this being the first week. The goal is to keep this up throughout the year.”
That exuberance will play well for the Spartans as they will want to carry out their love for the game against the teams they face this season. It’s always great for a player such as Milligan to talk about the team with such positive notes because not only does it say a lot about the coaching staff and how they treat the players, but it says a lot about the players themselves. It shows that the players are maintaining focus on striving for greatness and that they’re putting in a lot of effort to be the best they can be.
Milligan also gave his views on the difference between the 2016 season and the 2015 team that took the SoCon regular season title. Milligan’s response was “This team feels eerily similar compared to our team in 2015. I think last year we got unlucky. The ball didn’t bounce our way. This year, we’re going to have to make our own luck.”
That claim of the ball not going their way gives us an idea of how Milligan, and the rest of the group, are letting go of the past. It was very clear that Milligan and the rest of the Men’s soccer team wants to focus on the present. Milligan stated that this year’s team is similar to the 2015 team, implying that they want to focus on being great in 2017 and continue to move forward as the season begins and progresses.
As a member of that 2015 team, Milligan started ten games and played a role in their success, however, last season he only played four games total. Milligan said “Last season, I did not put in the work over the summer, and that is why I didn’t play. This year, I did and I’m ready to be a benefit to the team.” That statement of Milligan “not putting in the work over the summer” resonates with many college athletes.
Summer is a time for rest and relaxation for many students, especially if they aren’t taking any summer classes. It’s understandable that Milligan would take his break; however, he made the choice to not put in the work he needed to improve his game. His claim of him grinding this summer will be seen throughout the 2017 season. In addition to that response, Milligan also spoke about how he has improved as a player over the past year. Milligan said, “I definitely matured in that standpoint in putting in more work during the summer. I think the entire team has matured, even the young freshmen who just came in.” Once again, his reflection on the team when the question was posed specifically to him shows his humility and confidence with his team. He speaks about himself and then mentions his teammates which shows how happy he is with the improvement the team as a whole has had.
Jon Milligan is entering his third year at UNCG and wants to make a difference for the team. He wants to have as big of an impact as anybody else, but most of all, he wants the team to be successful. When asked about what would make a successful season for the team his response was “Our goal this year is to win the SoCon championship and hopefully get into the NCAA tournament. But we need to win a championship for this season to be a success.”
It appears those two goals is what will define a successful season in Jon Milligan’s eyes. We will see if The UNCG Men’s Soccer Team will do what Jon Milligan envisions and indeed, win a championship.