Men’s soccer kicks off the season

Mens+soccer+players+battle+it+out+during+practice%2C+gearing+up+for+some+tough+games+ahead.+

Kylie Allison

Men’s soccer players battle it out during practice, gearing up for some tough games ahead.

Gretchen Scherrei, Staff Writer

Westmont’s fall sports are taking off for the year, and the men’s soccer team has big goals and aspirations for the season. After an unusual year of competition due to COVID-19, the Warriors are looking to win another league and conference title, with the hope of going to nationals and improving their overall team performance. 

The Westmont men are coming off an impressive 2020 season. The season took place during the spring rather than the fall due to COVID-19, and the team faced a few other challenges from the pandemic, including six stints in quarantine over the course of their three-month season.

Quarantine was a direct result of positive COVID-19 tests and exposures that affected the team. However, the team still managed to be successful on game days, winning league and conference titles. The hardest part about training during COVID-19 was the inconsistency, we never knew when practice was on or off or if we had to be quarantined,” shared second-year Daniel Tuscano. 

Although the COVID-19 rules and restrictions have started to lift this season, the team continues to take them seriously. 

“We all have our feelings about it but we all have one thing in common — we want to play as many games as possible. Therefore, we follow any restrictions or rules they give us,” shared first-year Brady Highfill. Tuscano echoed the sentiment, saying, “The team makes sure to do their part in following the guidelines to make sure we are always eligible for training and games.” 

Following a successful training camp in August, the Warriors acknowledged the importance of intense, competitive training as a catalyst for their success. “If we do not train hard, then we will not be prepared to play an intense actual game on the field,” second-year Matthew Morgan shared regarding the intensity of team practices.

Tuscano believes that “the competitiveness between the [team] is better this year and it brings everyone to the next level.” These factors are important in building a strong team ready for the postseason. 

Men’s soccer is working with a fairly young team this year, with 18 underclassmen and 11 upperclassmen. 11 of those underclassmen are first-years without any college playing experience. Additionally, the seven second-years on the team only have last season’s COVID-19 experience to work with.

Having such a young team creates “an interesting dynamic in the group”, shared first-year Brady Highfill, “but all of the older guys take care of [the new guys] and we all learn from one another. They push us really hard and expect us to be keeping the same pace as them [in training].”

The positive training environment is reflected in the team culture. “The team is [composed of] guys who will support each other, who have their backs, on and off the field,” Morgan added. 

Make sure to watch as the team will take the field on Sept. 30 for their first Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) regular-season game against San Diego Christian at Westmont on Thorrington Field.

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