The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Men’s soccer team recovers following rough early season

It looks like it is comeback time for the Guilford College men’s soccer team. 

After a rough start to the season where the team dropped their first five games the team has recently posted a three-game winning streak. 

“Winning fixes everything,” said Jeffrey Bateson, head men’s soccer coach. “Once they get that win and realize they can do it, it makes a difference. We were not an 0–5 type team.”

This year’s team, comprised mostly of first-years and sophomores, had trouble finding their rhythm in some tough early match-ups.

“Because we are a young team, I tried to set a pretty tough schedule, just to get us weathered,” said Bateson. “I was expecting maybe 2–3 at the worst. We made a lot of fixable mistakes.”

Dave Walters, assistant athletics director and sports information director, was more lenient in his assessment of the reasons behind the early season losses.

“Any time you have new students, especially those coming from high school to college, that’s a pretty big transition,” said Walters. “It’s going to take some time for them to adjust to so many different facets of life, never mind soccer.”

During the offseason the team lost 14 seniors to graduation and several others to transfers. The team refilled its rosters with lowerclassmen and transfer students.

Bateson is proud of the leadership displayed by the current senior members of the team, particularly their ability to keep the team motivated and optimistic. 

The team made its first bid at a turnaround in game five.

In a match-up against North Carolina Wesleyan, the Quakers started to find their stride — scoring two goals in the first half.

Unfortunately, the opposition mounted a comeback and won 5–3.

“I’m disappointed that we gave it away,” Bateson said. “But that game taught us that we are good enough to score.” 

The tide finally turned vs Washington and Lee.

The Sept. 12 match gave the Quaker men their first victory of the season, with both goals scored in the first half by senior forward Rob Sandridge.

“I was thrilled to see, starting with the Washington and Lee match, the team really started to turn around and develop some consistency,” said Walters. “They really started to come together the way I’m sure Coach expected.”

Next, against Ferrum, the team faced a more rigorous challenge, with an early Quaker 2–0 lead countered by two goals via Ferrum’s Keith Ricks. 

The game went to double overtime and was finally won through a masterful header by Guilford sophomore midfielder Jonny Goffredi off a long free kick. 

Finally, Guilford’s 1–0 shutout victory against Randolph-Macon not only made the Quakers’ third straight win of the season but also marked Bateson’s 100th career win. 

The team has 10 games left in the season, including nine against Old Dominion Athletic Conference colleges and one non-conference game. 

“Our goal this year, as every year, is to make the ODAC tournament and finish in the top four so we can host a playoff game,” said Bateson. “It’s still too early to tell how the rest of the season will turnout, but the team’s mood is good and personally I’m optimistic.” 

The team captains, seniors Brandon Rothfuss and Colin Dillon, are optimistic as well. 

“We’re just starting to get into a groove, but I think it’s too soon to say the turnaround is complete,” said Rothfuss. “We know the work ahead and are up for the challenge.”

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