Gauging the success of this year’s men’s soccer team is difficult to do on paper. By account of the players, the season has been an up and down affair.
The Lyons are yet to face a conference opponent, but their record stands at 3-4 overall. At times, the team has shown its potential, shutting out Colby-Sawyer College and New England College.
In other moments, the team has struggled to score, being itself shut out on three occasions.
This inconsistency has been the biggest challenge the team has faced to this point. This is evidenced in the team’s modest 1.14 goals-per-game.
Still, the boys are undeterred. The team is still yet to face its first NEWMAC conference game. With well over a month left to play, there’s plenty of time for them to reach another level.
What’s more is that they’re optimistic. Senior Neil Fitzgerald ‘20 echoes these ideas when speaking about the team.
“We are confident we can make a run at the title this year,” Fitzgerald said.
“We have put [up] some good performances where we have clearly been the better team and not gotten results–that is the nature of soccer.”
One such example came against Endicott College, where Wheaton was aggressive in attacking the opposing goal. While Wheaton came up with seven corner kicks and three shots-on-goal, Endicott walked away with the 1-0 victory.
This aggression could prove costly at times for the Lyons: to this point, the team as a whole has accrued seven yellow cards and a red card.
Upon surveying the team as to where they can improve, the general consensus seems to be in keeping offensive pressure consistent. This is especially notable on the road, where the team allows over three goals a game and has taken only four of their 29 corners on the year.
No one doubts the talent present on this team. Contributions from players of all class years have come over the course of the year thus far, but the results they chase have been just out of reach.
Seven different players have scored to this point but on the other hand, no one has taken more than five shots on goal either.
“I think the bond is there,” said first-year Alberto Franceschi of his team. “We want to play and do our best and to bring out the best in our teammates.”
This optimism is going to keep them moving forward with so much left ahead. Their first conference game will come against MIT on Saturday, Sept. 21.