When James and Paul Hayes attend LIU Post this fall, one thing is certain: They should have no problems with familiarizing themselves with their respective roommates.
There is a pretty good reason — the twins will be rooming together their freshman year.
Paul and James Hayes, who were an integral part of Mattituck High School’s Class B boys state soccer championship side last fall, have decided to pursue their next level of education and their soccer careers at the Brookville, N.Y., school.
“I was at this tournament with my friend the other day and she said, ‘Yeah, you’re lucky because you don’t have to go through that awkward period of getting to meet your roommate,’ ” James, a central midfielder, said. “It’s cool.”
Paul, a central defender, certainly was cool with it as well. “I would say our bedroom is pretty much like a dorm already,” he said.
LIU Post turned out to be a perfect combination of academics — the twins plan to major in business with a minor in sports management — and of course, an opportunity to play soccer at the NCAA Division II level.
“They have a strong business program,” James said. “We wanted to major in business because it [can help] get a job after college.”
They were sold on the soccer end when they watched the Pioneers defeat host Dowling College under the lights, 2-1, on Sept. 18, 2013.
“It was such a high tempo, high speed of play,” James said. The soccer, the attractiveness of it, it looked like a professional level game. Every other school we looked at, we compared them to Post. We would always be like, ‘Well, they don’t play like them. They don’t play as quickly. Post is still better than them.’ Post has always been in the back of our minds since we were sophomores.”
Paul concurred and elaborated.
“In our college search, soccer has always been important to us,” he said. “Soccer will always help me in my future. I can compare my life with soccer. Post just made the most sense. It’s not that far away from home. It’s only an hour and a half away. Soccer-wise, they’re great.”
After three years of being the mainstays of some fabulous Tuckers teams, the Hayes brothers realize they won’t necessarily step into the starting lineup overnight.
They were impressed with LIU Post coach Andreas Lindberg and vice-versa.
“When we had our first meeting, he said: ‘I like you and Paul a lot. I like you because you worked very hard and you played very simple. That’s what I like,’ ” James said. “He researched us and he knows a lot of people that [we] know — past trainers, past coaches. One thing that he looks at is character. Are you going to fit in with the team? Are you going to be very cocky or arrogant? If you’re arrogant, he’s not going to want you on the team. He said that he only heard great things about us. It’s always a good feeling that people think that way, that you’re a good person.”
Ranked 11th in the nation, the Pioneers are coming off their best season ever (18-2-2), having reached the national quarterfinals.
“He said to Paul and I that it’s going to be hard work,” James said. “If you come in prepared, you’ve got a shot. I’m going to work hard. I don’t expect to break onto the first squad. I’m not saying I won’t. I’m almost certain I won’t. They’re almost returning a full squad. I want to break in hopefully a sub role. Hopefully when I’m a sophomore, a junior, I’m playing a lot. That’s my ultimate goal.”