Senior Spotlights: Handy emerged as leader, solid defender

Senior Spotlights: Handy emerged as leader, solid defender

By Matt Nielson

The things Matt Handy will miss most about his five years with the men’s soccer team didn’t take place on the field. It isn’t the games or the wins, goals and assists.

“What I enjoyed the most was the guys,” Handy said. “Traveling with them on the road, making friendly wagers on who’s bag would appear first at baggage claim, poker games and stretching before games. I enjoyed the good times more than the competition.”

To Handy, a 2007 business major from Mahwah, New Jersey, the team was more like a fraternity than anything else, and the relationships he formed will continue after his collegiate career.

“When I see one of the guys in the hall, I don’t just say ‘hi.’ I stop and talk with them,” Handy said. “They aren’t just acquaintances.”

When he came to Northeastern, Handy didn’t know where he’d stand with the soccer team.

“I was nervous about soccer, because I didn’t know if my talent was up to par,” Handy said. “It turned out to be an advantage for me, because I really worked hard to improve.”

Handy’s early improvement got him on the field right away. As a freshman, he started in 12 games for a Huskies squad that made it to the second-round of the NCAA tournament.

After redshirting in 2003, Handy was a fixture on defense for the next three years, starting 40 games, and most recently helping the team get to the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) tournament in 2006, after he took on a leadership role with the Huskies.

“When the young guys get here, they have no idea what to expect, and don’t know how to carry themselves,” Handy said. “They’re a lot like I was when I got here. Mainly I tried to pass down all the little traditions – tell all the stories about guys that I played with. I’d tell them about the guys that got in trouble and the guys who knew how to push the coaches’ buttons.”

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