Men’s soccer update

Katherine Bouma, Staff Writer

With seven players added to the squad, the Westmont men’s soccer team is aiming toward a new wave of success in the upcoming several weeks. Last season, the Warriors finished 5-8-1, ranking them seventh in the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) men’s soccer standings. With this in mind, the men are ready to go far this season.

The Westmont men’s soccer team has one last match to play before they begin their games in GSAC conference play, kicking it off with Ottawa University in Surprise, Arizona on Sept. 29. The Warriors have a total of five wins and one loss so far this season, with their only loss in an exhibition match against the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), losing 0-4. They quickly bounced back with a 5-1 victory against Whittier College and then they finished the battle against Azusa Pacific University in a 1-1 tie directly after. The men then went on to win against Pomona-Pitzer College, The Master’s University, Fresno Pacific University and Bethesda University.

First-year defender Christian Jimenez shared his feelings regarding the start of the season as a “humbling experience, but I’m proud of how we have conducted ourselves as a team and have only gotten better.” Jimenez also shared, “the team is filled with skilled players who have nothing but love for each other and the game of soccer. We push each other to get the best versions of ourselves every training session and match. We want to make it as hard as possible for the coaches to choose a starting 11.”

With head coach Dave Wolf retiring after this season, the team has fire in their hearts and in their minds to play with their 100% effort. As Jimenez vocalized his desire to have a successful season he also shared his team’s goals: “To get Coach Wolf a national championship in his last season would be really special.” However, he continued on to say that the Warriors are not distracted from working hard each game, stating, “We are making sure to focus on the present and are trying to continue to improve throughout the season.”

A great deal of love is shared on and off the field among these athletes and hopefully this will prove helpful for the team as they work towards their goals for the season. Jimenez stated that although they are a fierce, competitive and strong team physically and physiologically, “we push one another to be our best, so that there’s no room for complacency. We’re making great strides in terms of our chemistry, but I feel we still have a little bit left to go.”

On the other hand, fourth-year Michael Palmer said he feels “the team is beginning to find our identity … The competition so far has been good, we faced top NCAA Division 1 programs in UCSB and UCLA followed by some very good teams that gave us a fast-paced start to the preseason.” With big goals for the season and a strong team, Palmer and the rest of the Warriors feel well prepared for the rest of their conference games. Palmer stated, “the strength of the team right now is the depth that we have. From the starting 11 to the last guy on the bench, everyone feels bought in and pushes one another to be the best we can be.”

After their 6-0 win against Bethesda University at home on Thorrington Field, the Warrior’s next competition at home will be their fourth GSAC game against Life Pacific University on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 3:15p.m. Make your way down to the field to support the men!

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