By Ryan Miller
Viterbo University men’s soccer season ended their season with a record of 1-12-1 and 0-5-1 in conference. Nevertheless, statistics can be misleading, and there is more to the men’s season than their record illustrates.
The V-Hawks were a competitive squad during the season, especially in conference play. In four of the six conference games, the squad gave up only four goals. Additionally, in three out of five conference losses the V-Hawks lost to their opponent only by one goal.
Composed of only six juniors and one senior, youth proved to be challenging for the V-Hawks, but was not used as an excuse for the season.
“We do not use that [being a young team] as an excuse for anything,” team captain Jonathan Locast, a junior marketing major from Madison, Wis. told Lumen “We want to win and compete and battle in every game and I believe we have the ability to do all of that.”
Going from a sport at the high school level to the college level is a challenging feat. “There is less room for error than at the high school level,” Locast said. “[Freshmen] are starting to understand that with the teams we play, the game is faster and more physical.”
“All these freshmen are getting put into games where they are playing against no one from the United States and no one their own age, and that is an uphill battle,” Locast said. “Every game they get better and learn…We have had some freshmen step up and play real well this year and it is nice to see.”
Regardless of the youth, the squad has depth on its roster. “I think he [Coach Greg Saliaris] is bringing in some quality players,” Locast said. “He has made the squad competitive for playing time within itself.”
This year is a rebuilding phase for the V-Hawks, but suggestions of a bright future were made.
“This is going to be a good team in the future, there is no question about it,” Locast said. “Give it another year or two and this program will be back to what it was in the ‘90s when it was winning conference every other year.”