Micheal Gualtieri and the Oswego State Lakers soccer team have gotten better the past two seasons at Oswego State and they look to build off a strong 2019 season. Unfortunately for them due to COVID-19, their 2020 season was taken away. Now Gualtieri and the Lakers must wait for senior year and the 2021 season.
Gualtieri grew up in Ithaca, New York playing soccer. He attended Ithaca High School where he played varsity all four years and was the captain for two of them. He was also named an All-Star and made the All-STAC, Southern Tier Athletic Conference, his senior year. It was only a matter of time before he figured he could continue to play soccer in college.
“I knew a lot of the [Div.III] schools, especially here in New York, in quality as a [Div. I] school,” Gualtieri said on playing college soccer. “If I got to a high level [Div.III] school like the SUNYAC I would be perfectly proud and happy with that.”
The SUNYAC wanted him too as Oswego State head coach Dan Kane had a strong interest in him early on. There was strong interest from Gualtieri’s family as well, as his father Fernando saw Oswego as a place where his son could fit well. The broadcasting program helped as well as that is what Gualtieri wanted to major in. Assistant coach Scott Brown also thought Mike would be a great fit.
“I did not have an opportunity to go see Mike until we held a camp here at Oswego,” Brown said on the process of getting Gualtieri to Oswego. “Immediately after talking with him and seeing him, he checked off a lot of the boxes that you would want in a player.”
Gualtieri has grown in his first two seasons as a Laker. His freshmen year he appeared in 10 games logging 252 total minutes. His role grew in the next season appearing in all 18 games logging over 600 minutes and was able to get two assists. His role has grown every year and he hopes it can only go up. That being said, winning is always the number one priority.
“The more I get older and the more experience I get in college I expect to have a bigger impact and a bigger role on the team,” Gualtieri said on what he expects his role to be next season. “It does not even have to be a starting role. It could be an impact role coming off the bench but as long as I am helping my team succeed in some way, shape or form that is all that really matters.”
In 2021 the soccer team will be close to two years removed from play when its season starts up again. With Gualtieri being one of the most experienced players on the team he should play a huge role on the team and its quest for a SUNYAC championship.
The key to winning those games is going to be playing as a team. Nobody knows how to do that better than Gualtieri. The teammates talk about he is a great teammate and on the field does the little thing right. This is someone who takes the game he plays with heart and is extremely competitive.
“His passion and his energy that he brings to each and every practice and game are what we appreciate most,” teammate and friend Caleb Munski said on what Gualtieri brings to the game. “The little things that you might not think of notice, Mike is usually doing them for us.”
That is what champions do. They do all the little things correctly and that formulates into wins. Over the last two seasons, the Oswego State soccer team has improved on the little things and they made it to their first SUNYAC playoff appearance in 2019 for the first time since 2014. They, unfortunately, lost to Cortland in the first round but still made significant improvements as a team. If you ask any of the Laker soccer players what their goal is for the upcoming season they all say they do the exact same thing. Win the SUNYAC Championship.
“The expectation for all of us as a team is we want to win a SUNYAC Championship,” Gualtieri said. “Everything we put in towards soccer and our work ethic it ends with we can win a SUNYAC Championship.”