SCSU Men’s Soccer Team Looking for Another Shot at a Title
Hunter Lyle – General Assignment Reporter
With the new season ready to start, SCSU Men’s Soccer is back and looking to improve upon last year’s winning record.
Last season, the Southern Connecticut State University Men’s Soccer team reached an impressive 11-4-4 record but was eliminated by Merrimack College in the NE-10 Semifinals, a game which team captain Jhony Gonzalez still thinks about.
“Our last two performances in the NCAA first round it wasn’t our best performance and obviously we still have that sour taste in our mouth,” said Gonzalez.
Last season, the team beat The College of Saint Rose 3-1 in the NE-10 Quarterfinals but lost to Merrimack 3-1 in the next round. The team also lost their first and only game in the NCAA Tournament to the University of the District of Columbia by a score of 3-0.
“Our ultimate goal is a NE-10 title and another chance in the NCAA Tournament,” said Gonzalez.
The team, which has already been practicing throughout August, voted on captains shortly before the season started. The student athletes elected Gonzalez and the coaches chose senior Zak Wright.
“The coaching staff selected Zak to represent the team as a captain. He’s someone who has great passion for the team and always puts the team before himself. We always let the team select a captain and the team voted for Jhony. I think that both of those young men will be outstanding captains for us,” said 21-year Head Coach Tom Lang.
Letting the team choose a captain as well as having the coaches pick a captain “gives the team a voice,” said Lang.
Since last season, the team lost four seniors but gained a breath of fresh air with their fifteen new players, through either freshmen, walk-ons, or transfers. The team was also able to keep eight core players from the previous season.
Wright, who joined the team late in his freshman year as a walk-on, now looks to help motivate the new blood through his role as captain.
“My role as captain will be to bring the energy, be the heartbeat of the team. Make sure that no one’s taking it easy and making sure the success continues to grow within the side,” said Wright. “Keep everyone together moving towards a common goal.”
“I work hard to set an example for the other guys,” said Wright. “Through my efforts, I hope to bring everyone along.”
The Owls opened the season with a 5-1 loss to Mercy College on Aug. 30, but bounced back with a 2-1 victory in overtime on Sept. 2 in overtime in their home opener.
They also get a chance for revenge against Merrimack College on Oct. 20.
The team is looking forward to that game and playing them here because they have another opportunity to “prove ourselves once again that we can be better than them,” said Gonzalez.
Photo Credit: Palmer Piana