Youthful roster brings new energy

The men’s soccer team recently kicked off their season, starting with a 1-1-3 record with all three ties coming with a 0-0 score. With coach Evan Fiffles leading the way for his 31st season at Lewis, the Flyers are looking to improve upon their record from last season.

Fiffles emphasized the additions of the squad as a key factor in this team’s success. 

I believe many of the new players can make a strong contribution to the season,” says Fiffles. The team has a new dynamic with 12 incoming freshmen added to the roster.

Although the team went through their first four games with only one goal scored by junior forward Godwin Asore, it is not uncommon for a new season to start slow. Fiffles alluded to how all games help the players improve, pointing out that one of those was to finish their opportunities.

“We created enough quality chances in our last game [against Northern Michigan, but] we weren’t clinical in getting on the scoreboard,” says Fiffles. 

The Flyers were not able to capitalize on their opportunities in their next match against Drury, either, ending in a 0-0 tie. However, the adjustment was made against Southwest Baptist University where the squad scored their season high in goals. Senior defender Justin Darlage scored in minute 31 and junior defender Arturs Gorodnickis also scored a second goal in minute 49 of the match. They successfully shut out their opponent, leading to a final score of 2-0.

Junior goalkeeper, Sebastian Doppelhofer, has kept the team in contention for a win or tie, only allowing one goal in five matches. Experience is one thing Doppelhofer is not lacking, with this being his third season as the starting goalkeeper.

With only four of the 34 players on the roster being seniors, some would say that the roster is very young. However, the players gain experience through every game and have the potential to advance far in conference. Despite the youthful roster, coach Fiffles feels that this team can compete with the best of the best in the conference and nation. Fiffles described these lofty expectations as a “challenge for championships.”

For the remainder of the season, the Flyers hope to live up to their goals and find success. Their next home games are on Oct. 13 against Maryville and Oct. 15 against Missouri S&T.

Photo Credits: Matthew Carlson

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