Men’s soccer team aims for an ODAC push

Men’s soccer looks to make playoff push in conference play.

The Guilford College men’s soccer team started their 2019 season with a huge win over Averett University, 3-1. First-year Sam Coughlin scored the first goal for the Quakers, first-year Kyle Broderick scored the second goal and first-year Kenny Nzekwe scored the final goal. 

The Quakers were defeated in their first home game against Pfeiffer University, 4-3, but squeezed a 2-1 victory over Bob Jones University with a goal from Nzekwe in the 83rd minute. 

After the double overtime tie against William Peace University and the tough 2-1 loss in double overtime against top 25 team, Roanoke College, the Quakers had a rocky shift to their season with a 3-5-1 record. 

“I don’t believe the current record reflects our team’s performance,” said junior goalie Zach Van Kampen. “I think that we have more to offer and we’re going to use conference play to prove it.” 

While their record hasn’t reflected their improvement, many new faces have joined the men’s soccer team with a few having the opportunity to play and make an impact for the Quakers. 

“The team is more dedicated this season,” Kampen said. “Also, we have a lot of talent in our first-year class, and the amount of squad depth we have this year helps our team as well.” 

“I think the biggest difference from last year to this year is the culture,” said sophomore forward Giovanni Santibanez. “We have a really big first-year class and a lot of those first-years are stepping up and are starters this year, and I’m excited to see the growth of the team from here on out.” 

With conference play approaching, the team will focus on improving their work ethic, defense and communication. 

“I think one thing we can definitely focus on is improving our work ethic and will to win. I think that is what will win us close games,” first-year midfielder Jasper Ardinger said. 

“Communication, movement and positioning, these three factors have been our achilles’ heels so far in trying to defend properly,” said first-year defender Bruno Gonzalez. “We will continue to work on these factors, and I am confident in our ability and talent to reform this and improve our record.” 

The Quakers had a 4-3 win over conference opponent, Ferrum College. Coughlin scored a tremendous goal assisted by senior wingback, Enrique Gudino, making the score 3-2 shortly after halftime.

Guilford College men’s soccer team is 1-0 in conference play, which will bring momentum to future games. 

“Every game we have been in so far we could have come out on top, even with Roanoke who is a top 25 team in the country, so I know this team has the potential to be a winning team,” said Ardinger.  

The next few home conference games will be against East Mennonite University on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m., Bridgewater College on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 3 p.m. and Virginia Wesleyan University on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.  

 

Editor’s note: This story originally was published in Volume 106, Issue 1 of The Guilfordian on Oct. 4, 2019.

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