September 19, 2016
The men’s soccer team hopes to redeem their recent losses in the upcoming games. So far, they are off to a good start with a 3-0 win against Westminster College on Sept. 16 in their first conference game.
The season started with one win against Lubbock Christian, one tie with Midwestern State and two consecutive losses in Kansas.
Jake McAllister, junior forward, who was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference preseason player of the year, said the team hopes to redeem them selves in the games ahead.
“We had a couple of hiccups recently. It gave us a wakeup call. Our team has a lot of talent, but it gave us a mentality to work hard, be the best we can be and, if you’re the guy fighting to win, doing the right thing,” said McAllister.
This preseason, they played Midwestern, who ranked 7th, which was McAllister said was his highest level of competition this year.
“A lot of big players come out of the RMAC, which gives a lot of challenge to the teams. Not very many of the teams in the conference stand out from one another. We’re just all looking for a battle,” said McAllister.
McAllister and the team have a strong mindset on what they want to accomplish this season.
“The program is improving each year. We have yet to win a conference title. This year we’re hoping to win a title and finish first after every season. Getting into a tournament is something we’re working hard at, but it’s not out of reach,” said McAllister.
Last year was the best record that men’s soccer has ever had, according to McAllister. This year, the same 11 starring players of last year returned and an additional 11 freshmen joined the team.
“The freshmen have given us veterans more of a completive streak. They help build that energy and confidence that we need in order to win. We’re all just hoping to help one another out any way we can,” said McAllister.
“We have a very good core group of guys, and we’ve formed a bond that will enable us to work together more as a team. Hopefully fresh blood will help us out as well.”
The team’s practice routine has changed compared to last year with the addition of athletic trainers. The trainers allow them to get into the weight room two days a week, which helps injury prevention.
“This year has been pretty interesting. Every day is intense, with everybody ready to go. Winning and reaching our goals have been the mentality of the team,” said McAllister.
McAllister believes the team’s strongest asset is their defense.
“Our defense is very sound. We have new guys in the back that are confident and strong. Our attack is something that we’re working on, but it’s been a struggle. Hopefully, our defensive skills will be tactical,” said McAllister.
With the remaining home games at Mountain Lion Stadium coming up this season, soccer would be the sport to watch.
“This is going to be a successful season. The games are going to be fun to watch. It would be cool to get people who don’t normally watch the games to have them come out. The fans supporting us really do make a huge difference,” said McAllister.
On Sept. 18, men’s soccer played against Colorado Mesa at Mountain Lion Stadium.
The team will face Colorado School of Mines on Sept. 23, Colorado Christian on Sept. 25 and a home game against Metropolitan State at the Mountain Lion Stadium on Sept. 28.