The men’s soccer team opened their season at Mobile University in Mobile, AL on Aug. 25, losing 2-1. They also lost two more close games against Bethel University and Cumberland.
Brenton Benware, head coach for the men’s soccer team, is beginning his first year at John Brown University and admitted that, on paper, it wasn’t a great start to the season. However, he recognized each new season brings new opportunities as well as new challenges and obstacles.
“I would say that the redeeming factor in that is we started the season with several really big injuries,” Benware said. “We decided that out of conference we are going to focus on healing and getting to our best.”
Beneware also said that several key players were out for preseason, because they played in a semi-pro league over the summer and had the opportunity to go to the championship game.
Adam Holt, senior goalkeeper, agreed that the start of the season did not go as planned.
“Unforeseen circumstances have left us with a roster that wasn’t exactly how we planned it out to be,” Holt said. “Several guys have stepped up and are playing positions that they aren’t comfortable with and doing whatever they need to do to help the team.”
Benware’s strategy seems to be paying off: on Sept. 9 the team defeated MidAmerica Nazarene, ranked number three in the nation by the NAIA Men’s Soccer Coach’s Preseason Poll.
The team begins conference play on Sept. 28 after they play Oklahoma Wesleyan, ranked number one, on Sept. 19.
“I always want to do better than the previous year,” Holt said. “I want to take a step back from what we have built the last couple years and I want to hold myself to the highest standard that I can.”
KJ ROH – Managing Editor