By Matt Weinstein
Coming off a big Homecoming win, 37-6, against Saint Anselm College, the LIU Post football team defended its undefeated streak in a match against long-time rivals, the Pace University Setters, on Oct. 20.
The 41-6 win against the Setters marked the Pioneers’ 15th straight win.
Head coach Brian Collins, who was in the middle of his first season coaching at Post when they last lost to Pace, recalled the promise he made, saying, “‘We’ll never lose to that team again.”
The last time the Pioneers started a season 6-0 was in 2016.
Back then, the Pioneers were “a little more explosive defensively,” according to Collins. But, the team is doing better defensively this year he said. “We’ll compare them after we accomplished what the 2016 team accomplished. Until then we’re fighting hard to win the next game,” he said.
The football team is nationally ranked No. 20 in the American football coaches’ poll. “It’s nice to be recognized by coaches around the country, and they recognize we have a very strong program,” Collins said. The success of their program can be attributed, in part, to their undefeated record in the regular season. “Now it’s crunch time and it’s Pioneer time,” he said. “It’s October; when the leaves start falling the Post boys start balling.”
The defensive players are putting in the work and reaping the benefits. Nazir Streater, a sophomore defensive back player, made a huge step up in defense. “He’s feeling real comfortable about himself,” Collins said. “He has tremendous skills; he’s an excellent athlete.”
Now more than halfway through the regular season, many defensive players stand out. “I think Zach Cofrancesco (junior defensive back) stands out,” Collins said. “He’s very engaged, he’s smart and he knows what he’s doing, he knows how to play the game. He’s probably the biggest surprise on the entire team; he’s playing at such a high level.”
The Pioneers now sit at 7-0 for the season. Their next game is against Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. as part of the NCAA Division II Showcase on Oct. 27. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m.
This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.