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Living the dream: Acadia’s Snyder had no plans to play soccer – but he’s happy he did


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For someone who wasn’t sure he wanted to play soccer after high school, Andrew Snyder has certainly garnered his share of recognition and awards.

Snyder, a Bridgewater native, is currently in his third year at Acadia, where he plays soccer with the Axemen.

In his freshman year, he was named the AUS rookie of the year for men’s soccer. Last season, he earned a berth on the second all-conference team.

Snyder, 20, also played this past summer with the Valley Kings Arms senior men’s team in the Nova Scotia Soccer League’s Premiership Division.

He was recognized at season’s end as the young player of the year for the Men’s Premiership Division.

 “I was very surprised to hear I’d won it, and very happy to get it,” he said.

“This was my first summer playing with Kings Arms. We made it to provincials, and ended up losing in the provincial final on penalty kicks.” 

He had previously played for South Shore, “but we never made the playoffs.”

Snyder played a lot of sports in junior high and at Bridgewater High School, “but basketball and soccer were my two favourites.” He has played soccer since the age of four, and came up through the South Shore United system.

 

Off to Acadia

After graduation, there was “really no other choice” but to attend Acadia, he said.

“My dad is an Acadia graduate, and my older brother also went here – he was in his fourth year when I started. They both really enjoyed it here.” 

In addition, Acadia had a really good business program.

"It had everything I wanted, plus the chance to play senior men’s soccer in the Valley if I wanted to.”

 

No plans for sports

Snyder’s original intention was to come to Acadia “to study, not to play soccer.” 

However, John Sharman, the technical director for South Shore Soccer, recommended him to Axemen head coach Findlay MacRae. 

"I talked it over with John, then decided to attend the tryouts, and was lucky enough to make the team.”

Snyder played well enough his first year at Acadia – and attracted enough attention – to win rookie of the year.

“I had no expectations coming in,” he said, “and I had no idea what to expect.”

In hindsight, he was “very pleased with my first year,” especially given that starting out, he wasn’t sure he’d even get to play.

“I’m very pleased with how everything has gone so far,” both on and off the field, he added.

Not only was he a second-team all-star in 2013, the Axemen qualified for the playoffs, for the first time in several seasons, before losing (on penalty kicks) in the quarter-finals.

 

Back on the field

Snyder said he is upbeat about the 2014 season, which saw the Axemen open with a 2-0 start.

“We have lots of good younger guys, and some good veterans, too, including Cam McGill and Andrew MacRae, who are both back after not playing last season,” he said.

“(Acadia) has a good mix of youth and experience, and we’re a pretty hard-working group. There’s really no comparison with my first year. We definitely have the potential to be one of the top teams in the league.”

Playing during the summer was an advantage, Snyder said. Several of his Acadia teammates also played for Kings Arms.

“You play for three months with a lot of the same people, it helps a lot with team chemistry,” he said. “It’s great having the veteran guys around, on both teams.”

He added, “it’s a little different” that, as a third-year player, “I’m starting to be considered a veteran, too.”

At the same time, “it doesn’t change anything. You still work just as hard. I’m really looking forward to being a role model for the younger players.”

 

Looking ahead

Asked how long he plans to stay at Acadia, Snyder said he is unsure right now.

“I’ll probably be here four years and then graduate, but things can change,” he said.

“I’m enjoying soccer. If there is a chance for me to play a fifth year, I’d consider it, especially with all the good young players we have.”

As for his plans after school, Snyder, who will graduate with a business degree, is studying accounting, and is eventually “hoping to get my Chartered Public Accountant (CPA) designation.”

Along with his studies and soccer, he is involved with the Acadia S.M.I.L.E. program. The team does Heart and Stroke and Relay for Life each year and he also volunteers at the Wolfville Nursing Home.

Snyder says he has “grown a lot over the past two years,” and is “really looking forward to the next two. I just hope it doesn’t go by too fast.”

For someone who wasn’t sure he wanted to play soccer after high school, Andrew Snyder has certainly garnered his share of recognition and awards.

Snyder, a Bridgewater native, is currently in his third year at Acadia, where he plays soccer with the Axemen.

In his freshman year, he was named the AUS rookie of the year for men’s soccer. Last season, he earned a berth on the second all-conference team.

Snyder, 20, also played this past summer with the Valley Kings Arms senior men’s team in the Nova Scotia Soccer League’s Premiership Division.

He was recognized at season’s end as the young player of the year for the Men’s Premiership Division.

 “I was very surprised to hear I’d won it, and very happy to get it,” he said.

“This was my first summer playing with Kings Arms. We made it to provincials, and ended up losing in the provincial final on penalty kicks.” 

He had previously played for South Shore, “but we never made the playoffs.”

Snyder played a lot of sports in junior high and at Bridgewater High School, “but basketball and soccer were my two favourites.” He has played soccer since the age of four, and came up through the South Shore United system.

 

Off to Acadia

After graduation, there was “really no other choice” but to attend Acadia, he said.

“My dad is an Acadia graduate, and my older brother also went here – he was in his fourth year when I started. They both really enjoyed it here.” 

In addition, Acadia had a really good business program.

"It had everything I wanted, plus the chance to play senior men’s soccer in the Valley if I wanted to.”

 

No plans for sports

Snyder’s original intention was to come to Acadia “to study, not to play soccer.” 

However, John Sharman, the technical director for South Shore Soccer, recommended him to Axemen head coach Findlay MacRae. 

"I talked it over with John, then decided to attend the tryouts, and was lucky enough to make the team.”

Snyder played well enough his first year at Acadia – and attracted enough attention – to win rookie of the year.

“I had no expectations coming in,” he said, “and I had no idea what to expect.”

In hindsight, he was “very pleased with my first year,” especially given that starting out, he wasn’t sure he’d even get to play.

“I’m very pleased with how everything has gone so far,” both on and off the field, he added.

Not only was he a second-team all-star in 2013, the Axemen qualified for the playoffs, for the first time in several seasons, before losing (on penalty kicks) in the quarter-finals.

 

Back on the field

Snyder said he is upbeat about the 2014 season, which saw the Axemen open with a 2-0 start.

“We have lots of good younger guys, and some good veterans, too, including Cam McGill and Andrew MacRae, who are both back after not playing last season,” he said.

“(Acadia) has a good mix of youth and experience, and we’re a pretty hard-working group. There’s really no comparison with my first year. We definitely have the potential to be one of the top teams in the league.”

Playing during the summer was an advantage, Snyder said. Several of his Acadia teammates also played for Kings Arms.

“You play for three months with a lot of the same people, it helps a lot with team chemistry,” he said. “It’s great having the veteran guys around, on both teams.”

He added, “it’s a little different” that, as a third-year player, “I’m starting to be considered a veteran, too.”

At the same time, “it doesn’t change anything. You still work just as hard. I’m really looking forward to being a role model for the younger players.”

 

Looking ahead

Asked how long he plans to stay at Acadia, Snyder said he is unsure right now.

“I’ll probably be here four years and then graduate, but things can change,” he said.

“I’m enjoying soccer. If there is a chance for me to play a fifth year, I’d consider it, especially with all the good young players we have.”

As for his plans after school, Snyder, who will graduate with a business degree, is studying accounting, and is eventually “hoping to get my Chartered Public Accountant (CPA) designation.”

Along with his studies and soccer, he is involved with the Acadia S.M.I.L.E. program. The team does Heart and Stroke and Relay for Life each year and he also volunteers at the Wolfville Nursing Home.

Snyder says he has “grown a lot over the past two years,” and is “really looking forward to the next two. I just hope it doesn’t go by too fast.”

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