Mount St. Joseph University

Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams Aim High

Dateline: student newspaper

By: Ryan Korengel

FC Cincinnati isn’t the only soccer team exciting the Greater Cincinnati area this season.  At Mount St. Joseph University, our men’s and women’s soccer teams have established a tradition of excellence, and this year the teams both look to build on their legacies.

Last year, the women’s team finished third in the conference, while the men finished with a solid 7-9-1 record.  As we approach the 2016 season, both teams have a goal of competing for a conference championship.  So far this year, both teams have gotten off to a solid start, and many people are beginning to realize that their respective goals are within reach.

After losing some key seniors, the men’s team has a nice mix of younger players and veteran leaders that could take them to the conference championship this year.  Early success indicates that everyone on the team is starting to understand and fulfil their roles.  I recently discussed the men’s team with Sophomore Center Defensive Midfielder Alex Johnston.  Johnston told me that the team is off to a solid 3-1-2 record so far, but to maintain this success, they will need to improve on “starting games strong and not coming out flat.”

Johnston also noted that last year’s team started the season with four consecutive wins, but they weren’t able to sustain that same level of early success throughout the entire season.  This year’s team has been “fighting in every game,” and a conference championship seems realistic if they “play at a high level all the time” regardless of who they are playing against.  Perhaps the greatest competition for the men’s team will come on Oct. 19 at Rose Hulman, but they must prepare for all games with the same level of intensity.

As for our women’s team, I recently interviewed Sophomore Forward Alley Schmidt, who told me that even though the team lost some key seniors heading into this year, their goal is still to win a conference championship.
 
When asked about the experience of this year’s team, Schmidt responded by saying, “There are no current seniors on the team, but we do have a strong junior class. We have really good freshmen that I believe will help us do great things.”
 
The junior class sets, “examples and are excellent role models to everyone,” she said.  Much like the men’s team, the women are focused on continuing to improve and learning from each game they play.  Strong leadership and a talented freshman class would predict positive results ahead for the women’s team.

The women are off to a solid 2-2-1 start to the season with plenty of competition left before the push for a conference title really begins.   While a conference championship is within reach for the Lions this season, it will require the proper mindset.  Schmidt explained that a conference championship is a realistic goal, but the whole team will need “to work together to encourage and strengthen our team mentally.”  As the team continues to build their mindset up to their proven level of athletic ability, the early results would suggest that the future remains very bright for Mount St. Joseph University women’s soccer.

While both of the soccer teams at Mount St. Joseph University have high aspirations for 2016, one thing is for sure – both teams will really benefit from a true home field advantage.  Support from the fans is only going to help both teams’ chances at a conference championship.  Believe it or not, the soccer season is approaching the middle of the schedule, but there are still plenty of home games left.  For specific game information, please visit:  http://www.msjsports.com.