It’s soccer season at Southwestern. With several victories already under their belts, both the men and women’s soccer teams are starting off their 2009 seasons very impressively.
Finishing second in the SCAC conference last year for the third time, with a 7-3 conference record, 9-10 overall, this season’s strong start has the men rather excited and ready for the many games ahead. The Pirates have played three matches thus far, winning all of them: 4-0 against Texas Lutheran, 1-0 against Texas-Tyler, and 2-1 against Mary-Hardin Baylor.
“The 2009 team has shown tremendous chemistry through the entire pre-season,” Head Coach Don Gregory said. “The veterans have been welcoming to the first years, and the whole team has discovered its identity and character. Seniors Juan Carreon, Nathan Shaw-Meadow, David Lozano and Josh Spencer have set an outstanding tone of leadership and passion for playing, and the team has followed suit. We look forward to watching the team progress during the entire season.”
Senior Midfielder Nathan Shaw-Meadow is also looking forward to an exciting final year with the team. He and the team are confident that they will be top contenders in the SCAC conference.
“We like to imagine that the ball is a big chicken fried steak and the goal is a big pot of gravy; just dip it in the gravy,” Shaw-Meadow said.
Despite the loss of key players Kevin O’Neal and Preston Hollis, seniors Josh Spencer and David Lozano still strongly believe in the solidity of their team.
“While the transition from high school to college soccer can be rough at first, many of the first-years have been playing like they’ve been in the program for years,” Spencer said.
The women finished third in conference last year, with a 6-3 record in the SCAC and 13-4-1 overall.
“Overall, I am excited about the season and I feel a high position in conference is there if we put the work in and are able to have a good pre-season,” Head Coach Jene Baclawski said. “My hope is that our level of play improves from last year, especially now that the players should be comfortable and adjusted to my style of coaching. I have high expectations for the team.”
Baclawski’s expectations are producing results and positive scores: 3-1 against Mary-Hardin Baylor, and 4-0 against Howard Payne. On Tuesday, the women beat Texas Lutheran 3-0.
Junior Midfielder Lauren Allyson Kjolhede has worked hard to prepare for the season.
“We’ve been through an intense set of 2-a-day practices but are ready to head into our preseason and season and dominate,” Kjolhede said. “We’ve put in a lot of work to come in a lot more fit and ready to play than years before. Hopefully it will pay off in the long run and help us pull through when the other teams are getting tired.”
“This year we have a strong team with a lot of experienced returning players, as well as some strong first-years, that will contribute and add a lot to the team. I think that our team is much closer and cohesive than years before, on and off the field. This helps us stay calm, cool and collected in games. We have an inherent understanding and trust as we’re working towards the same goals.”
Complete scores, statistics, and schedules for both varsity soccer teams can be found on Southwestern Athletics website.