Soccer Midseason Update

By Rena Ketelsen– Women’s and men’s soccer coach, Tom Maxon, looks back at the first part of the season with content, but also sees some space for improvement.

Both soccer teams are currently in the middle of their seasons, having won some yet also lost and tied some games. According to Coach Maxon, both teams are very good, although they have been on the backside of a lot of close games.

The women’s team has had a few wins, but also a tie and some losses against good teams; the most recent ones being against Briar Cliff University (BCU) and Midland University.

Maxon explained the reason is the team’s lack of experience. It is very young and has a large incoming class of freshman this year. Compared to last season, the team is still struggling to score goals, but this also lets a few more goals in, because the back line doesn’t have the experience that the players had last year.

On top of this, many of the incoming freshmen on both teams are international students who struggle with the transition from their lives at home to life as a student-athlete. They have had to adjust to having practice every day, two games a week, different food choices, attending multiple classes, among other things.

Overall, Maxon summarized for the women’s team, “The positive is: I’m very encouraged by what we have. The negative is: we haven’t put together anything.”

The men’s team, on the other hand, scores goals, but they let in too much on their own half. The team is not quite where they were last year and are losing close games in overtime.

Maxon is confident that the men’s team is as good as any team in the conference. However, because of losses against teams, like Briar Cliff, for instance, they will no longer be able to reach first place in the conference. Their hopes are now set on third or fourth place for the rest of the season.

The circumstances are similar for the women’s conference, where the goal is to finish in fourth or fifth place.

The first overall goal for the rest of the season is to end up in the upper half of the GPAC tournament and be able to have the first game of the tournament at home. Secondly, both teams need to make it to the finals of the said tournament to make it to Nationals.

Maxon explained, “The National Tournament for both teams is definitely doable. I just don’t know if it’s probable. So, I think we have our work cut out for us.”

October 18, 2021