Men’s soccer heats up

By: Michael Craig
Contributing Writer


As the cool autumn weather begins to claim the temperature and atmosphere around campus, the men’s soccer season, conversely, is just beginning to heat up.

Nearing the halfway point, the boys of the turf have treated fans to an exciting and successful first half up to this point, and that trend is said to continue on into the second half of the year, according to the Piedmont College men’s soccer team.

Statistically, the Lion’s offensive leaders have been first-year Ryan Herbert and fourth-year Vincent Thomas, who both play forward on the team. Each of them has six personal goals to their credit as well as a slew of assists for the team’s offensive performance. With 25 goals in just 10 games, the Lions are currently averaging two to three goals a game, a mark that could bring them success if they continue that trend.

On the defensive side of the ball, the key players can be picked out through their performances. Through this point in the year, second-year Chris Keller has appeared to be a strong leader of the team’s defense. If you attend a game, it doesn’t take long to realize that Keller takes control of the backfield and keeps the players going by calling-out both directions and motivation throughout the course of the game.

Overall, the Lions have posted a 6-4 record so far, going undefeated at home and holding a conference record of 3-1. That sits them in the upper half of the USA South standings. Although the team has a losing record on the road, at home here at the Walker Sport Complex, the Lions have been nearly unstoppable. From their blowout win over William Peace University to their nail-biting victory in extra time against Ferrum, the team has certainly put on a show for the home crowd.

Looking on to the rest of the year, a sense of confidence can be felt both within the team and the fan base. Eight games remain in the regular season, and five of those eight are home games—this includes the next game on Oct. 6 against Bob Jones College and the highly anticipated home matchup against the Scots of Maryville. The team feels that they can realistically make a run at it and bring respect and dignity back to the program. They believe they can achieve this by making some noise not only in the regular season, but in the conference tournament and hopefully, the regional playoffs as well.

Another defensive standout for the Lions, first-year Chris Bible said: “We are not going to be the most talented team in the conference, but we will be the hardest working. We are out to surprise a lot of teams.”

When a group of guys like the ones who treat us to “The Beautiful Game” here at Piedmont are all on the same page, striving towards a common goal, the results that they display on the field have the potential to be something special day-in and day-out.

As Bible put it, they may not be the most talented team out there, but in sports, this isn’t always what really matters. What is of value, however, is chemistry, dedication and pride in a common goal. With mindsets like that, we could see our soccer players turn a well-played first half of a season into an incredible run that may not only shock “a lot of teams,” but a lot of us as well.