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Posted on 27 October 2015 by admin

Men’s soccer team finishes season with ‘best overall record in STLCC history’

 

The STLCC men’s soccer team defeated Crowder 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 24. Wingman Dillon Smith scored a goal | Photo by Ashley Biundo

The STLCC men’s soccer team defeated Crowder 2-1 on Saturday, Oct. 24. Wingman Dillon Smith scored a goal | Photo by Ashley Biundo

By: CHRISTIAN HARGAS
Sports Editor

The STLCC Archers Men’s Soccer team amassed a record of 16-6-1.

Although, the last game was a loss against East Central, 4-2, in the Region XVI semi-finals, there are different contributing factors to the team’s overall success, Head Coach Tim Mosby said.

“We have very skilled players with great character. The passion and dedication for the game has been the biggest,” Mosby said.

Forward Matt Schneider said good coaching and direction is a big reason for the Archers’ success in 2015.

“We now have a coach that cares and wants to turn something around, and he is doing it and proving it. He is recruiting too and getting better players for the team, which is nice,” Schneider said.

Good chemistry within the team is another one of the major contributing factors to the team’s strong performance on the field, Defenseman/Mid- Fielder Steven Lilako said.

“I think the biggest reason for our success is because we have high morale. Everybody knows their roles and is playing up to their potential. We also have a lot of depth in different areas of our team,” Lilako said.

Having good team communication is also a very big deal, Schneider said.

“If you do not communicate in soccer, then your team is just going to drop. If you have high communication with everyone, your team is just going to grow more and more. It will make you such a better a team,” Schneider said.

The Archers are ranked fourth in Division I in goals scored with 90, and second in shots on goal with 260.

Progression over last season, the offseason played an important part in improving the production of goal scoring, Mosby said.

“We went out in the offseason to find recruits that can put the ball in the net in a variety of

positions. We have practiced finishing and how to best put ourselves in position for goal scoring opportunities,”Mosby said.

Averaging four goals per game, Wingman Dillon Smith leads the team with 25 goals. Having good strikers and mid- fielders is very important, Goalie Nick Bertich said.

“I feel like we have really good strikers and our backs can get the ball up to the strikers and the mid-fielders, and they can just do their work. They can really put the ball on the net. We have one of the top scoring strikers in the whole country and it is pretty awesome,” Bertich said.

Even with success, the Archers are striving to continue making improvements, Mosby said.

“We can always improve on all facets of the game. I believe we still need to improve on whole team defense, ‘one vs. one’ defending, and back post finishing. This year, we have improved on set pieces,

finishing under pressure, attacking as a unit, overall goals against, and time of possession,” Mosby said.

Cleaning up the defense’s performance can be a quick fix, Mosby said.

“We will be recruiting defenders in the offseason. I think with moving some of our guys around, we have improved our defense for the short term,” Mosby said.

Bertich agreed.

“I think [defense] will be a quick improvement, but we will just have to know when teams attack. Get back and help me cover this guy. That comes from game to game when we step onto the field,” Betrich said.

The Archers improved their road performance during the 2015 season as they posted a 7-3- 1 record away from Meramec.

Staying calm during road games is the main reason for our success away from home, Mosby said.

“ We do not let the environment disrupt our game plan. We use road games as a time to bond and take on the challenge,” Mosby said.

The best part of this season’s whole experience is winning, Bertich said.

“At the start of the season, we have never beaten Jefferson Co. It was like the first or second game, it was soaking wet, and we beat them. Just the feeling that washes over you, it is amazing. I did something, I felt like I made history. Now, we are hosting a playoff game. That is some good stuff,” Bertich said.

It is a good feeling knowing that other teams are aware of the Archers’ success this season, Schneider said. Sometimes, there can be extra determination and the team plays with a chip on their shoulder.

“Coming into the season,

they would say ‘oh it is Meramec and it is going to be a blowout’. But, when we show up now as good as we are, and we beat them, they are all shocked. They all say ‘how did this happen’ and they are just speechless,” Schneider said. “Some games, we get kind of cocky and we do not play as good. However, sometimes you get that extra chip and we play very well. It just depends.”

Soccer is important, but life takes the front seat and soccer teaches them [players] a lot about the challenges of the real world, Mosby said.

“I am just proud of the guys and how much they have grown as a team, as athletes, as students and as men. We have a good group of guys. We are like a group of brothers. Some days we are best friends, other days not so much.

But I will say in times of high stress or adversity, our guys will stick up for each other, play for each other and like being around each other,” Mosby said.

There was a feeling of high expectations from the coach to the players from the very start, Betrich said.

“He knew that we were going to be one of the top teams in the region. He was a little disappointed at us that we did not get the first seed because we lost to Maplewood, and that was just a bad game. Overall though, he is excited to be in this spot and feels like being the fourth seed is actually a good thing because you still have that hunger,” Betrich said.

Schneider agreed.

“He likes it [team’s success], but he knows it is not over yet. But, I feel he is very proud of us and he just likes coaching us,” Schneider said.

Letting the players know each day they are a part of history allows for strong feeling and emotion along with the success, Mosby said.

“They have the best overall record and region record in STLCC history and the highest seed in region tourney. They have three wins and one tie against top 20 opponents. They are hosting the first playoff home game in two decades,and they are setting records for goals scored and defeating teams STLCC never came close to over the years,” Mosby said.

The Archers feel they have the ability to reach the national tournament, Betrich said.

“I feel like it is there for us, but we just have to take it. We just have to play every game to its fullest, focus on team defense and we will be up there with anybody because we can put the ball in the net. It is just keeping them out, which we are improving on,” Betrich said.

Taking the remainder of the season one game at a time is important to maintaining consistency and competing within Division I, Mosby said.

“We need to stay focused on winning within our region. Yes, I do think if we play our game of high intensity offense and sharp lock down defense, we can compete with anyone,” Mosby said.

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