Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men’s soccer showing improvements

The Augustana men’s soccer team is looking revamped and improved from last year. After only six games, they have reached the win total the team had last year (2-4).
Even though the Vikings lost to North Park 0-4 on Saturday, Sept. 22, the team’s mindset going into that game and the feeling they have about the entire season shows the positive attitude this group has.
“Playing a team like North Parkit’s easier to hype yourself up. For them, they have to win, and for us, it’s huge if we come away with a victory. In no way is it impossible to beat them,” said sophomore captain Sander Soerhaug.
Junior captain Matthew Allen also talked about the mindset of the team going into this game.
“The biggest thing is being confident,” Allen said. “Playing at home is our advantage because it’s a very tough place for our opponents to play. We just need to play our game, and we’ll have a good chance of competing with them.”
Falling to North Park was disappointing for the team, but the differences in the team from last year along with the positive expectations from the captains show that this year will be much more promising.
Allen touched on the improvements they made in the off-season preparing for this year.
“We came in working harder and implementing more ideas. For example, we now have a touch warm-up and other different drills getting us ready going into games. We’re focusing and working on our basics, and getting used to the positive change in both the leaders and culture of the team,” Allen said.
Soerhaug also talked about the actions taken by the team this off-season.
“We lifted all off-season, practiced more drills and overall had more practices,” Soerhaug said. “Besides soccer, we worked on ourselves and our attitudes outside of practice and games.”
The leadership of the men’s soccer team is lead by three captains: Allen, Soerhaug and senior Jack McKearnanwho is the only returning captain. With this range in age and experience, McKearnan talked about the pressures each of them face being the leaders on the team.
“This year as a captain, there is much less pressure than I had with last year’s group,” McKearnan said. “Everybody is focused on making the team better so all I have to do is try to set a good example.”
Both Soerhaug and Allen had similar views of their newfound leadership, both in their first years with the role. With Soerhaug being a rare sophomore captain, he talked about how the position has affected him.
“There are definitely more responsibilities on and off the field,” Soerhaug said. “It was different in the beginning, but I’ve started to grow into it more as the season goes on. Being one of the three captains, we all have to work together to get the best out of one another.
Allen talked about the example he expects to set for the team.
“I expect myself to work harder for everyone else and setting an example of how we do things by not slacking and not giving up. There isn’t a ton of pressure for me because I worked to be in this position and I’m confident in our abilities as a group.”
With the confidence and positive mindset these men have, they are looking to do great things this season. After a four game road trip, they will return to Augustana to take on Illinois Wesleyan on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

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Men’s soccer showing improvements