Matt Cushing is in his 23rd season at the helm of the Wheaton men's soccer program in 2016-17. Since his arrival in Norton in 1994, Cushing has compiled one of the highest winning percentages among active NCAA Division III coaches in the country at .733 (305-98-41).
Last year, the Lyons went 11-8 overall and 5-2 in conference competition with a seven-game win streak. Wheaton qualified for the NEWMAC Tournament and battled Babson College in the semifinals round.
The Lyons advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and made their tenth appearance overall in program history in 2014, all under Cushing's guidance. Wheaton produced a 17-4-2 record overall and a 6-0-1 mark in league play to claim its eighth regular season championship. The Blue and White also compiled a program-best six New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference selections and tied a program-high for NEWMAC Academic All-Conference selections with three total this past season. Nationally, Wheaton ranked as high as No. 14 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll and No. 16 in the D3soccer.com poll throughout the course of the year.
In 2013, the men's soccer team captured its eighth NEWMAC championship in program history en route to advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time. The Lyons had three student-athletes named to the NEWMAC All-Conference team, one student-athlete named to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District Team and two student-athletes earn NEWMAC Academic All-Conference accolades.
The year prior, Wheaton posted a 9-7-4 record overall and 2-2-2 mark in NEWMAC play. The Lyons had four players named to the NEWMAC All-Conference team and one player chosen to the NSCAA All-New England squad. Wheaton also earned a spot in the NEWMAC Tournament bowing out in the quarterfinal round.
Under Cushing's leadership, Wheaton has qualified for postseason play in all 21 seasons, including an NCAA Tournament national semifinal finish in 2003, a national quarterfinal placement in 2001 and an additional eight NCAA bids. The Lyons also captured the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Tournament title in 1998 and the NEWMAC Tournament championship eight times.
Cushing was named regional coach of the year by the NSCAA in 2001, and coach of the year by the Eastern Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association (EMSCA) in 2000, NEWMAC in 1998 and 2001, and New England Intercollegiate Soccer League (NEISL) in 1997 and 2001. He is the coaching director at the Crusaders United Soccer Club in Plymouth and has also coached the U17 Olympic Development team in Massachusetts.
A former scout for Major League Soccer's (MLS) New York Red Bulls, Cushing has groomed six Wheaton players for professional competition.
Most recently, Luke Finkelstein '15 signed a professional contract to play with Hakoah Amidar Ramat Gan FC of Israel and former assistant coach James Greenslit '06 played for the reserve squad of the MLS' New England Revolution and in the United Soccer Leagues (USL).
Dan Antoniuk '03, meanwhile, was recently with the San Diego Sockers of the North American Soccer League (NASL). Oscar Medina '97 and Jim Manganello '99 spent time with the Cape Cod Crusaders of the United States Interregional Soccer League (USISL), while Jeremy Long '99 played for the A-League's Boston Bulldogs. Manganello was selected by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the 1999 MLS College Draft. Cushing's players have also earned 14 All-America honors, 43 All-New England selections and eight NEWMAC Player of the Year accolades.
In addition to coaching, Cushing was the national chair for the NSCAA Division III rankings committee. He served as the regional chair of the rankings committee and as the vice president of the NEISL, an organization that recognized him with the NEISL Service Award in 2002. Cushing also handled regional chair duties for the Division III ratings board for three years while serving on the NCAA Tournament selection committee for four years.
In 1994, Cushing earned a United States Soccer Federation (USSF) national "B" license. He received a national diploma from the NSCAA in 1992, followed by an advanced national diploma in 1993.
Prior to coming to Wheaton, Cushing was the assistant coach at Division I power Rutgers University, which advanced to the 1993 NCAA Tournament after capturing the Atlantic 10 Conference title. He also spent the previous two years on the coaching staff at Lafayette College.
A 1988 University of Massachusetts-Amherst graduate with a bachelor's degree in sport management, Cushing was a captain on the 1986 and 1987 Minutemen teams. He is a former Parade Magazine high school All-America honoree and was inducted into the Duxbury (Mass.) High School Hall of Fame in 2008. Cushing led Duxbury to four consecutive state championships.
|1998||18-4-1||5-0-1||ECAC Champions, NEWMAC Champions|
|2000||17-3-1||4-2-0||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2001||21-2-0||6-0-0||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2003||19-3-2||5-1-0||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2005||13-5-2||5-0-1||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2006||12-5-4||5-1-0||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2007||14-6-3||4-1-1||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2013||17-6-0||6-1-0||NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Champions|
|2014||17-4-2||6-0-1|| NCAA Tournament, NEWMAC Regular Season Champions
Yonha Adrabi begins his third year year as an assistant coach with the men's soccer program in 2016-17. Adrabi is responsible for the development of the goalkeepers and also assists with the rest of the coaching staff with the development of the defenders and midfielders.
Adrabi brings a wealth of knowledge to the program as a former collegiate student-athlete and high-level youth athlete. As a student-athlete, Adrabi went 45-17-10 overall with 25 shutouts and a 0.98 goals against average (GAA) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Santa Barbara City College. Adrabi, who spent two years with both programs, helped Santa Barbara City College to a pair of Western State Conference (WSC) championships ('09, '11) and also was named to the All-WSC first team twice as well ('10, '11). In 2011, Santa Barbara City College made an appearance in the State Final Four.
In addition to his collegiate laurels, Adrabi also was accepted to play for Hapoel Tel Aviv's Youth Academy from 2007-08. Arabi's youth level accomplishments include: four appearances in the U.S. Youth Soccer Cal South National Cup, six placements in the Coast Soccer League (CSL) Tournament and U.S. Soccer Development Academy So-Cal Division championship.
Adam Batista starts his second year as an assistant coach of the men's soccer program in 2016-17.
Batista brings a strong soccer background to the Wheaton program, spending the 2014 season as the assistant coach for the women’s soccer team at the University of Vermont. At Middlebury College where he attended, Batista was a three-year starter for the Panthers and a captain in 2013. He won the NESCAC Championship and advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2010.
Batista spent the previous two years as a staff coach for Far Post Soccer Club in Burlington, Vt. In 2014, he served as the goalkeeper coach for the Vermont Olympic Development Program. He also received a NSCAA National Diploma and NSCAA Goalkeeper Level 1 Diploma. Presently, he coaches for CS United in Plymouth.
Batista is currently pursing a master’s degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration at Concordia University Irvine and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Vermont.
Zack Grady begins his first year as the assistant coach of the men's soccer program for the 2016 season.
Grady coaches at Liverpool FC International Academy Massachusetts. He also played soccer at Williams College, appearing in two NCAA Final Four games. He led the NESCAC in goals during his senior year.
Grady is finishing his dissertation for his Master's in Applied Sports Psychology after spending one year abroad at St. Mary's University in London.