Men’s soccer ready to kick off


Sports Editor

It’s that time of year again. The time that all of the players have been working for all summer. The time of year that the coaches have been thinking about and planning for. The time where the players can show what they’ve learned from the past year. It is the time to get ready for the men’s soccer team’s upcoming season.

Coach Jimmy Stephens and Assistant Coach Shane McKay have been conducting practices since Aug. 13, getting their team ready for the competitive season. 

Preseason for them is a little different than past years. The team’s preseason consists of three-a-day practices, timed running and team bonding to prepare.

Stephens said, “As far as preparation, we’ve tried to tailor our workouts, so our kids peak at the right time.  Having McKay handle our speed, agility and fitness has really helped a lot.” 

“Although preseason is a lot of hard work, it is all worth it in the end because our team will be in top shape for the start of the new season,” says third-year center midfielder Matt Metzger.

The team has gained eleven new players for the season, which includes ten new freshmen and a transfer from The University of Auckland. Seventeen of the players are returning players. 

“It’s kind of early to tell how individually our freshmen will make an impact, but I do believe we have a very good freshman class that will achieve great things on the field and in the classroom,” said Stephens.

With the returning players, Stephens said they have seven upper classman to lead the team. 

“Last season was a growing season, and we have a lot of returning players and freshmen for a good team dynamic,” said Zach Englert, second-year goalkeeper. 

For the men’s team to make the conference tournament, they have to be in the top ten of the division. To make a home seat for their first game, they have to be in the top five out of 11 teams overall.

“It is one of our team goals to make it to the conference tournament. We are ready to win. We are ready to have the best season so far,” said Chris Keller, third-year defensive player. 

According to the players, the toughest games of the season will be against Maryville and Greensboro College. 

To start the 2015 season, the first home game is an exhibition match on the Aug. 28 against Emory at 7 p.m. at the Walker Athletic Complex.