Cautiously optimistic. This is Coach Pill’s current mindset on the upcoming season for this year’s Crusader men’s soccer team. “We are coming off our best NAC season ever,” says Coach Pill, “and the foundation of our team this year will be strong because of many returning players.”
“The camaraderie and cohesion of this year’s team will be a real positive, and I can already tell that there has been a real commitment by the guys on their offseason preparation,” states Pill. The Crusaders return key players such as Brian Lundquist (Sr.), Taylor Pill (Jr.), Drew DeLozier (So.), Dustin Dolan (Jr.), and Mitchell Holley (Sr.). “The leadership this year is very determined and focused,” says Pill, “We feel like these guys will help push each of our players to their fullest potential.”
The Crusaders will continue to explore and develop the system that they played last year. As the new and key players continue to develop, however, new strategies to increase success may be available.
“I was really excited about our spring season a few months ago. We are looking forward to carrying that momentum into this season. We have added some great talent to our roster, and the intensity on the field continues to improve every day,” says Coach Pill.
This new talent includes freshman players Wira Wama, Alex Kornivskiy, and Thomas Bagin. Wira Wama, a 5’8” freshman forward from Papua New Guinea, will provide the Crusaders with a strong, talented offensive threat this season. “Wira is a skillful player who has a great understanding of the game,” remarks Pill, “We are very excited about the game-changing contributions he can add to our attack this year.”
Kornivkiy, a 6’0” freshman goalkeeper from North Carolina, is working hard to obtain the starting goalkeeper position. “Alex is an athletic, brave, assertive keeper who is great off of the line. We are excited to see how he improves as the year goes on,” says Pill.
Thomas Bagin is a 5’9” freshman forward from Richfield, WI, who could develop into a solid midfielder for this year’s Crusader team. “Thomas is great technically and should be able to contribute this season in the midfield or forward line,” remarks Pill. These freshman and others are working hard to adapt to the speed of play and physical dimension of the college game, and should provide quality minutes and depth to this year’s team.
The Crusaders will look to improve on their 8-11-1 record from last year, with a schedule of 9 home games and 10 away games. “We have a good set-up in our schedule this year,” says Pill, “The timing of the games is very advantageous, and we’re excited to play some challenging opponents.” Key home matchups include Beloit on September 19th at 4:00 p.m., and Lakeland on October 15th at 3:00 p.m. New this year, Maranatha intends for every college home soccer game to now be available through live-stream video on the Maranatha Athletics College Men’s Soccer page.
For this year’s team, however, the primary goal remains the same as it has in years past. “I’m looking forward to the continued impact the soccer team can have on the community and Maranatha family this year,” says Pill. “We have a large group of guys in leadership roles throughout campus, and we continue to look forward to ministries such as Tonal Defenders and local church involvement.” The 2013 men’s soccer team will continue to seek to find ways to be an impact just as much off the field as they do between the lines. “We will always strive to be a positive example of sportsmanship, compassion, and Christ-likeness to the teams we face on the field,” remarks Pill. “Off the field, we seek to bring these same qualities to the people we interact with in order to complete our ultimate goal of glorifying our Savior Jesus Christ.”