By Hanna House
The work ethic and fitness level of the men’s soccer team are what Joseph Yeisley, head men’s soccer coach, is hoping will bring them to the top. “We have a lot of talent this year, maybe the most we have had within the program” said Yeisley.
Yeisley is expecting Francis Lopez, sophomore forward, is expected to be a key scorer for the team. While Lopez is scoring, Ian Mutio, junior goalie, is going to be starting as goalie. Jordan Garcia, junior mid-fielder and two year All Conference player, will also be returning to anchor the midfield to help give scoring opportunities.
Nic Gunyon, junior center back, said there are differences between this team and last year’s. “There are more quality players. Practice is more intense and there is a lot of competition for starting spots.”
Connecting with teammates is a critical part in any sport. “Getting to know each other on and off the field will be a focus this year,” said Yeisley. After losing three seniors, Yeisley brought in 17 freshman and 11 transfers.
Mutio said this team varies in many ways from last year’s team. “This year we are able to actually be a team.”
The first game of the season will be against Southwestern Assemblies of God on Aug. 29. The game will be played at Jantz Memorial Stadium at 3:30.
Team unity is a major focus in practice as they prepare for the conference opener against one of their toughest opponents, Kansas Wesleyan Coyotes. In last year’s battle, the Coyotes came out on top 2-1.
Mutio said he is ready to surprise a lot of people and set records.
Yeisley said, “The sky is the limit with this team.”
Hanna House is a freshman majoring in business. You may email her at email@example.com.