Soccer makes big changes

The Truman State University men’s and women’s soccer teams have a goal in mind for this season —  to qualify for and win their respective Great Lakes Valley Conference tournaments.

The entirety of the soccer season has been pushed up a week earlier because of an NCAA festival.

The men’s soccer team has an edge this season with five players continuing to play into their graduate education. These five players have a lot of experience under their belts, which will help their teammates.

Duke Cochran, head men’s soccer coach, said he thinks this year, opposed to the start of some previous years, many of the positions have already been dialed in.

The men’s soccer team will have six freshmen joining the team this year.

“That’s fairly normal,” Cochran said. “On average, if you look at bringing in five to seven a year, that will give you a roster the size of anything from 20 to 28.”

Cochran said he has seen numbers anywhere between three to twelve incoming players.

The women’s soccer team, however, consists of a lot of new players. The team has taken on 13 new players out of a total of 32. 

Of the new players, 10 are Freshmen, two are transfer students and one is a walk-on.

“We’ve got a lot of young talent,” Mike Cannon, head women’s soccer coach, said. “There’s going to be a lot of opportunity. Pre-season this year is going to be more about identifying who goes where. It’s always kind of that way, but this year especially.”

Cannon explained that the last two seasons saw two large classes graduating, leading to the team consisting of many new players.

Along with the new additions to the team, 10 of the players are sophomores. This means that 23 of 32 are first or second-year players.

“There are a lot of unknowns,” Cannon said. “That’s going to be the biggest thing, trying to lay out a framework for what the next, not just this season, but the next couple of seasons will look like.”

The first women’s soccer game will be against Saginaw Valley State University Aug. 26. The game will take place on Truman’s soccer field. 

The women’s soccer team played against Saginaw Valley last year, losing 3-1. The game will not be a part of the GLVC tournament.

Since Lindenwood University and University of Southern Indiana have moved into Div. 1, the GLVC conference had to fill some games quickly. Cannon said the women’s soccer team picked up another early season game against Quincy University that will not be a part of the GLVC conference.