At first the men’s soccer team struggled to score the way Coach Rick Benben expected. But halfway through the season, the story changed. The Roos are now 3-1 in the Summit League.
The Roos lost their winning streak with a tough 3-1 loss to the Oakland Grizzlies Saturday night in an away game. The three remaining conference games will determine if the team qualifies for the playoffs.
The eight new players have been an excellent fit for the team and have made individual contributions for the team’s success.
Freshman goalkeeper Connor Sparrow believes the team is prepared for the upcoming games and the potential postseason.
“It definitely is a possibility [the playoffs]. Personally, I am doing my best to stay in form, and as a team we have a winning mentality, which always helps,” he said.
Sparrow has a great record of saves this season, but he attributes his improved performance to teammate Kevin Corby.
“He [Corby] is a great keeper,” Sparrow said. “I have learned a lot from him. Before every game, he pulls me aside and tells me to stay relaxed. He’s been like a mentor to me.”
Michael Oakley’s strong and aggressive style of play has helped the defense remain solid, and his personal goals are to, “Keep providing leadership from the back and bring good energy to the team.”
The Summit League Finals is the team’s goal. Oakley said he is optimistic, and from his perspective, it is not just an objective, but an obligation.
“We have shown that we can get results and we are prepared for what’s coming,” Oakley said. “It’s in our future.”
The Roos will head to Omaha, Neb. on Tuesday to face Creighton in a non-conference game before they host Omaha University next Saturday at Durwood Soccer Stadium in conference play.