Men’s soccer wins the NCAA Division III National Championship.C
onnecticut Gov. Ned Lamont visited the Connecticut College campus Dec. 9, 2021 to congratulate the men’s soccer team for winning the NCAA Division III national championship.
“You came together at the very best moment, when people needed you to step it up. You also came together and stepped up right when this state needed you the most,” said Lamont, whose sister is a Conn graduate. “We needed something to cheer for, and I’ve got to tell you, the people of Connecticut were cheering for the Camels.”
He added, “You have a lot to be proud of, and I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished.”
Other special guests included State Sen. Cathy Osten, State Reps. Anthony Nolan and Christine Conley, and New London Mayor—proud Conn alumnus—Michael Passero ’79 M’89.
The Camels won their first national championship Dec. 4, defeating Amherst 1-1 (4-1) on penalties at UNCG Soccer Stadium in Greensboro, North Carolina. After playing Amherst to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtimes, senior captain Lorenzo Bocchetti ’22 converted the deciding penalty after Peter Silvester ’25 stopped two spot-kicks in the shootout.
Less than 24 hours later, the tired team returned to Conn’s campus, and was greeted by cheering students, faculty and staff at a joyful reception on Tempel Green Sunday morning.
Conn’s coach Reuben Burk was first off the bus, carrying the national championship trophy, as Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blasted from the loudspeakers.
The welcome-back celebration “was a really nice gesture,” Burk told The Day newspaper. “[We] really appreciate students coming out.”
Captain Lorenzo Bocchetti ’22 told the supporters who came out for the rally: “Your support has been what it has been all season, and it’s just fantastic. It’s been a privilege to lead this great group of guys throughout the season.”
During the celebrations, Burk reflected on what it takes to win a national title.