As the second week of school starts, the men’s soccer season is already well under way.
With the men’s team tying in all three games in the preseason, head coach Ralph Lundy was confident about the team’s performance for this weekend and for the season overall. His goal is to not only get to the conference tournament this year, but to win. “It’s gonna take a lot… it’s a big challenge,” he said, but the team “[has] the ability and the talent.”
When asked what else he was looking forward to in the season, Lundy replied “I got nine seniors I want so bad to be in the NCAA tournament.” These nine seniors will be key in the Cougars’ success: Kevin Shields, Cesar Murillo, Lorenz Esposito, Leland Archer, Vebjorn Krovel, Khalil Abderahman, Avery Ryan, Paul Burdick and Eli Dent.
Leland Archer, in particular, was named to the Preseason All-CAA team. Another senior, Matt Nozedar is also starting off the season strong, scoring three goals in the preseason games and one in the Friday night game against Furman.
Aside from the leadership from his seniors, Lundy will also look to junior Khallil Stewart.
When asked what the team had learned from last season to better prepare themselves for this season, Lundy again put emphasis on the group of seniors and their ability to lead the team. “The biggest positive is having these nine seniors. They’re great fellas, they’re committed, dedicated and they’ve been through a lot of wars, because we always play the best teams in the country” said Lundy.
The Cougars opened up their season at home on Friday night in the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Soccer Classic. They faced off against Furman and Monmouth.
On Friday night, the Cougars lost in the last few minutes of the game 3-2 to Furman. Sunday night, they won 1-0 against Monmouth as both sides had a strong defensive presence. Ultimately, the team scored a penalty kick and continued to have a strong defense as Monmouth pushed for a goal.
The Cougars next game is Friday, Sept. 1 on the road against Florida Atlantic.