Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Men’s soccer finishes 2019 season strong

The Augustana men’s soccer season came to an end as they finished with an overall record of 6-7-2 and a conference record of 3-4-1. The Vikings finished sixth in the conference winning their last game against Carthage, Saturday Nov. 2.

The leading goal scorers from the season are Captains Matt Allen and Salah Aglaf. They also both lead the vikings in assists and shots on goal. Defensively, the Vikings Goalkeeper Jeremy Klaber turned in 70 saves this season which landed him fifth in the conference.

“As an individual, something that helped me become successful was my mindset,” Klaber said. “24 hours before every single game I get in the right mindset and focus on the game and what situations will occur. I am only focused on the game the day of it.”

Although the season ended without a berth in the conference tournament, according to the team, one of the things that held the players together was the bond and friendship each player had with one another.

“Our team is a second family to each member of our group and, personally, as an international student, I feel that the team has been a huge help and support for me throughout the years I have been at Augie,” Aglaf said. “So whenever we get in the field we keep on fighting for each other driven by those strong bonds and that’s what motivates and encourages each one of us to give our best for our big family.”

Not only does the team lean on each other, but they have the support of several other outlets, including the women’s soccer team and vice versa.

“Something that is special about Augie soccer culture is the bond between the men’s and women’s team,” Klaber said. “Each team always supports the other and we all root for each other – even off the field the soccer culture bond is unbreakable.”

This season the team has increased the number of wins from previous years, improving on their record from last year gaining one more win. But for senior Matt Allen, the scoreboard didn’t always tell the whole story when it came to the 2019 vikings.

“The end of this season is so bittersweet. We had a great run and I think we played the best soccer I’ve seen in my four years,” Allen said “We were a force to be reckoned with even throughout our difficult moments of the season. Although we didn’t make the conference tournament, we took huge steps in the right direction. I always wish I could do more, but I’m happy with how I’ve played and the impact I had on the team and culture moving forward.”

Seniors leaving the team realize that there were missed opportunities in the 2019 campaign. However, this did not stop Aglaf from having a positive outlook on what the vikings can do in the years coming up. In an interview Aglaf discussed what keeps the team movtivated during the season.

“Something that definitely needs to be improved next year is our way of dealing with pressure at advanced levels of CCIW,” Aglaf said. “We had a decent chance of making it to the playoffs this season but we did not know how to deal with the situation as we were getting closer to the qualifying positions. However, I believe that we learned many lessons from our mistakes in the last two years that we will use next season as we’ll be more experienced in such situations.”

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Men’s soccer finishes 2019 season strong