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Hampton grad helps Denison soccer push toward playoffs

| Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Bryan Margaria

Former Hampton soccer standout Bryan Margaria is helping the Denison University men's soccer team continue its run of excellence.

The team has only lost two games this season and was ranked in the top 25 in the nation in men's Division III soccer.

While he played in many big games as a member of the Talbots, Margaria said the jump from the high school to college ranks was a big adjustment.

“It's tough to grow up playing soccer in western PA,” he said. “It is a very football-oriented area, and to be a top dog from the area is no real advantage.”

With such a small percentage of high school athletes making it to the college level, those who do are the best of the best. So, with every player on the team being the best or among the best from all over the nation, it took Margaria a little while to find his niche.

“The speed is so different, and the players are 10 times faster than anything I saw in high school,” he said. “That was not a problem for me, but with the players being that much faster, your decision making has to match that.”

Margaria could have played Division I soccer but opted to go to a more academically challenging school.

He said the competition level at the Division III classification is great despite the lack of sports scholarships. Athletes play for the sheer love of the game.

As a biology major minoring in chemistry, soccer player, resident assistant and a part of the Newman Association, his time is completely spoken for and any spare time is spent studying to maintain a high GPA.

Margaria said he plans to be a starter on defense next season, and his growth through his playing time this season has him ready to contribute when needed.

Denison will close out the regular season against DePauw at 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at home.

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