After winning two games in Spain this summer, Truman State men’s soccer team returned to Kirksville for another season. So far, the team has been playing preseason games to prepare themselves for the conference matches.
With this practice under their belts, the men accomplished an undefeated preseason and began their regular season last Saturday.
The Graceland University men’s soccer team in Lamoni, Iowa, traveled to Truman last Saturday to play Truman. Although the Graceland team is not in the GLVC, the game marked the first game of the regular season. The Bulldogs managed a win 1-0 from a penalty goal kick.
Senior captain Austin Hayden said the trip to Spain helped prepare the team for the matches they will face throughout the season. Hayden said the trip allowed the team to bond, experience different cultures and see other styles of playing.
The teams’ defense during the game saturday was on point, which allowed the rest of the game to run smoothly, Hayden said. Along with good plays, two new assistant coaches, Jacob Schrier and Nick Wallner, have joined the staff.
One of the assistant coachs’ key jobs is to work with goalies, allowing special attention to be placed on the team’s defense.
Senior Tony Lantz said the confidence the team has gained so far will prepare them for the long haul ahead of them. Lantz said last year the team had a lot of potential but was not able to go as far as it would have liked. Lantz said it is important for the team to stay motivated.
To redeem themselves from last year, senior captain Nick Franta said the team needs to keep their eyes pointed forward toward the goal they want to reach.
“We need to dream big, but at the same time take each game one step at a time. So far, this is working for us,” Franta said.
With the new season starting, new players have joined the team. Franta said there are skilled new players as well as experienced returning players. He said he hopes the team will fix what they couldn’t last year and make it to their goal.
After returning from an injury, sophomore Zach Hollstrom said it felt good to give the game his all. Hollstrom said Saturday showed how much of a well-rounded team Truman State has. Building off of their success, Hollstrom said the mentality the men now have is boosting their morale more than ever.
“Being able to come out of preseason without any loses gave us a lot of confidence going into the season. I think it allowed us to go out with the belief that we could keep up,” Hollstrom said.
Lantz said the team is working together to make the best out of the season. He said personal determination is a key part of the sport, and it will bring out the will the players have inside them.
Lantz said the team is going to be more fun to watch than ever and invited the student body to see them play.
“The goal is to make home games fun and to find support. Be that support,” Lantz said.