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Men’s soccer prepares for successful season

September 2, 2011

Justin Frye/The Courier - The men’s soccer team practices some foot skills before their first game, which was held yesterday against Dubuque University.

The men’s soccer team is full of experience and is ready to take the Midwest Conference by storm.

Coach George Perry looks forward to turning his team around this season.

“We do expect to be much better offensively,” said Perry.

Although the team is lacking in numbers, Perry believes that the individual members are of great value.

“We don’t have a large amount of numbers in terms of players, but we have some very strong individuals,” Perry said in a press release after the first week of practice.

The Scots’ 20-man team is full of experience from not only returning members but also from transfers and freshman.

“We’ve added some very strong offensive players,” said Perry in a press release. “Our returners have come back with a determination to improve on the previous year’s offense. Defensively, we graduated three starters and the goalkeeper, but I’m confident we’ll become a strong defensive unit. It will take time to get the game experience for our defenders, and there’s no substitute for game experience.”

The Scots return three players, senior Josh Del Valle, junior Ryan Stransky, and sophomore Issac Hernandez, who combined for six goals last season.

After graduating three defenders, Perry is looking to shake up the starting roster, moving defenders forward, forwards back, and everywhere in between.

For instance, senior Eddie Martinez has moved from a central defensive mid role to a more central attacking role, while Stransky will float between the defensive and central thirds.

The Scots boast a talented junior class. Filling in the gaps left in the Scots back line will be juniors Jordan Lankford, Jake Scimeca, and Andy Sheller. Other junior stand outs include Tony Swierczewski, Devin Freitag, and transfer junior Logan Simpson.

Del Valle will be wearing the traditional captain’s “10-shirt”.

“The team’s morale is really high right now,” said Del Valle. “We’ve got dynamics that we haven’t had in the past. Over the past few years we’ve built up this chemistry and it’s finally starting to all come together.”

The 2010 campaign ended less than favorably as the team finished 4-12 overall and 3-6 against Midwest Conference opponents.

“Games like the Carroll game last year showed us glimpses of what we’re capable of,” said Del Valle.

In that game, the Scots trailed the Carroll University Pioneers 1-0 in the final minutes before scoring in the last five minutes. Tied 1-1, the Pioneers rallied for a game winning goal in the 90th minute.

“Carroll’s one of the best teams in the conference and we proved that we could play with them, that was huge for our confidence,” continued Del Valle.

Perry hopes that the team this year will have the right amount of power to qualify for the Midwest Conference Tournament.

“We’ve got to score,” Perry said in a press release. “Scoring early on would be advantageous. That would give us a chance to dictate how we play the rest of the game and defend. We have to finish off our scoring opportunities. Over the years, we’ve put ourselves in position to score, but just didn’t finish it off.”

The Scots took the pitch for the first time this season against the University of Dubuque yesterday, Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. at Peacock Memorial Athletic Park. Dubuque shut down the Scots, 2-0.

Andrew Farraher
Contributing Writer

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