Charlie Neil ’12 has inherited good balance — and it’s a good thing, given the acrobatics that will be required to jump from the men’s soccer team to baseball in the spring.
According to Neil, the diversity of talent “runs in the family.” His brother played soccer in college and his father, Jim Neil ’76, played both soccer and baseball for the Bulldogs. Charlie picked up the same combination at four or five.
A native of Dallas, Neil recently made his soccer debut Sunday against Maine when the Bulldogs beat the Black Bears 2-0.
Come spring, the 6-foot-4 forward/midfielder will switch sports to be a utility player for the Elis. Neil has the ability to play outfield, catch or play corner infield. He is also a switch hitter.
According to Neil, the balancing act is simple. Both coaches have given him the freedom to focus on each sport in its respective season. He has been allowed to forego fall ball to focus on the soccer season now, and then in the spring he will concentrate almost solely on baseball.
Neil arrived in New Haven with an already-impressive resume. While attending St. Marks School, he led his soccer team in scoring for three straight seasons and finished his career with a school record 185 points and 33 assists.
“Charlie is a really good player,” teammate Jordan Raybould ’10, a midfielder, said. “I can always hit a long ball to him, and he will keep possession.” Raybould also said Neil can work hard without tiring, which is important in a sport where a professional midfielder often runs six to seven miles in a game. That endurance has already helped make him an integral part of the team with a place in the starting lineup against Maine.
“I love the atmosphere,” Neil said of the soccer team. “It is a gateway to meeting new people.”