Men’s soccer wraps up spring season with Pfeiffer scrimmage

After a long yet positive season last fall with new head coach Cory Speed, the Guilford College men’s soccer team is hoping to grow and set new,higher goals that can be reached by the program. With much progress being made in terms of coaching and recruiting, the team is also coming off a strong spring season that concluded with a wrap up game against Division II Pfeiffer University last Saturday, April 15.

With a total of 16 practices, the spring soccer season is brief, intense and competitive. When asked about positives for the spring season, Speed mentioned the competitiveness between the players and the determination to prove they deserved to be on the field. This is something he would also mention he was proud and excited to have seen from his players.

“We trained and identified concepts that we wanted to work on and for the most part accomplished the things we wanted to get better at,” said Speed.

Furthermore, this spring season allowed the team and head coach to become more in tune with their new assistant, Nick Sakiewicz, who has only been a part of the team since the beginning of this semester. This is different than the terms under which Speed came to the program, having to quickly adapt to a new location, school and team. The new assistant has been able to help lead practices, drills and assist in recruiting, which will help the team fulfill Speed’s strategies.

Before the final spring season scrimmage, the team worked heavily on team shape, forward pressing and switching the point of attack,all aspects of the sport which require time and practice, something that Speed now has time to prepare for.

The spring season also brought the additional challenge of filling the spots left open by graduating seniors. To combat this issue, players were moved around and played in new positions to see if any would be natural fits. This was also done due to the depth of the team,  which has players who deserve playing time and are strong enough to play but may have an issue with their preferred position due to starting players performing well in that position.

The labor of spring season’s practices was tested in their scrimmage against the 2015 Division II national champions Pfeiffer. The game had many positives and the team proved they were beginning to undertake Speed’s soccer philosophies well,especially the high pressing and team shape that had been worked on. While the game would end 3-2 for Pfeiffer.

“The game remained competitive due to the things we trained for in spring practices,” said Speed.

Finally, before heading into next fall, the team has new recruits to look forward to as well.

“It has been positive and I have impact players committed,” said Speed. “But as with any Division III team, I’m keeping an eye out for recruits late into the recruiting season.”

These recruits he added will give the team more depth and provide the impact subs needed and may even challenge for a few starting positions.

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