On Tuesday, September 17, the Men’s soccer team won their match in double over time against Rogers State at home. The final score was 2-1, with Freshman Jordan Story scoring the first goal in a sliding kick to the bottom right corner of the net, with an assist by Junior Ryan Duncan.
With the game tied 1-1 at the end of the second half, the game entered overtime. After no successful goals in the first overtime, second overtime began, in which Junior Martin Gonzalez sacked the winning goal with a low, hard shot to the right corner, ending the game. The Golden Eagles are currently 4-3 overall.
Head Coach, Scott Marksberry, believes the team’s non-conference games and upcoming matches are all about learning.
“Each game is an opportunity to grow, learn and improve,” said Marksberry.
The team is still being molded. “We’ve been figuring out who fits best in what position and what kind of defending will work best for us,” Marksberry said. “We want our style to stay the same, but learn to apply that style against different types of teams.”
“Our biggest focus right now is learning,” said Marksberry.
Marksberry has seen a great improvement in the team’s ability to score this season in comparison to the last. “In the past we’ve struggled a little bit to score, especially when we got behind in games,” said Marksberry. “This year we feel like, in any game, even if we get behind, we can score.”
Sophomore Aaron Estrada has seen strength in the team this season as well.
“I feel that our biggest strength has been having possession of the ball,” he said.
Through the teams’ loss against MidAmerica Nazarene on September 14th, Estrada saw strengths and weaknesses in their play.
“We had very good movement in the midfield,” said Estrada, “we had chances to put the ball in the net but didn’t, so we could improve our finishing.”
Marksberry believes the team culture they have created off the field is a strong influence on their ability as a team. “The guys are really unified.” said Marksberry, “They have the same goals when they step on the field and you see that play out in the game—they play together.”
“Aside from tactics and the technical elements of the game, we probably spend more time thinking and talking about team culture,” Marksberry said. The culture doesn’t come easily; it is something they have had to work for, and it is a key element for what the team will be able to accomplish.
“The moment we lose [the culture], then we’ve lost our identity as a program,” said Marksberry. “We have to work at it, it will never happen on it’s own” said Marksberry, “We have to make that choice.”
The team will play their next game against Benedictine on September 21st at 7:30 p.m. on Benedictine’s turf. Marksberry believes the match will be a good challenge for his team. “They beat us last year, and I think they’ve probably improved since then, but I think we have improved as well,”said Marksberry. “It should be a great game.”