Men’s soccer prepares for upcoming season
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With the last two seasons of men’s soccer serving as the building blocks for the program, the Prairie Stars are ready to move forward. This season, the team will play several junior colleges and division III schools as they prepare for the upcoming season.
The Stars played their first exhibition match against Lincoln College last Friday night at Kiwanis Stadium. This was the first time the student body and the public got a glimpse of the Stars in action. The stands were full and the fans were full of anticipation.
Moving into the 2013 season, Head Coach Jesse Miech welcomes back eleven returning players – setting a strong foundation early on. The starting lineup included Jack Turanchik, Jon Powell, Dylan Hoschar, Nikita Fadeev, Nicolas Alonso del Moral, Addison Ferry, Tyler Stenzel, Mike Severino, Mark Williams, and Alex McHatton. Although starters against Lincoln College, this does not guarantee that they will start every game. According to Miech, “the guys who played tonight are returners and are the ones who are building this program and have been in it… The new guys who are coming in and want a spot have to earn it, and things are likely to change, but for now we are still working things out.”
After a shaky last two seasons, fans are eager for a win. To get there, Miech’s goals for the team this season are “to always get better, but in terms of wins and losses, we would like to put ourselves in a position to get into the conference tournament and control our fates. Once [you] get to the dance, you got a chance… it’s really about those last three games…”
Some of the new changes that fans will likely notice are the new mentalities of the players and a boost in competitiveness. “Every year we have been building the team… this is the third recruiting class, and I think that changes a lot of things… you have guys coming in, battling for positions,” commented Miech.
Every season, there are a handful of players that stand out and help move the team forward, and after watching the Prairie Stars play Lincoln College – this is no different. “We’ve got some guys with speed like Chukawuka Iwe and Mike Severino, then you have the big guy up front, Mark Czarny,” said Miech. “Then there are the other guys who will stick out because they are in and around the box, but we have a handful of guys who could put a mark on this team.”
A well balanced team, these young men are willing to step up and do his part. Mid-game, Jon Powell was taken out due to an injury and freshman Addison Ferry, who according to Miech “has never played center back a day in his life”, rose to the occasion and help the team win against Lincoln. The unofficial score was 2-1 in UIS’ favor.
“We are excited for this upcoming season… it’s going to be game by game. This year we are going to continue building and get out of the mentality that things don’t go our way and start winning and building that confidence that will allow us to win more games,” said Miech.
With new and former students looking forward to the upcoming season, we can’t wait to see what kind of show Miech and the rest of the men’s soccer team will put on for us this year.