Saeed Husain

Sports Editor

The College of Wooster men’s soccer team (3-2-1 overall, before their game on Wednesday, Sept. 19, against Capital University) have had what one might call an even start to the year. Slated to play conference games starting this Saturday (away at DePauw, Sept. 22), the Fighting Scots are upbeat about their season outlook.

The role of the team being more of a family is something which has been highlighted, and which promotes a positive dynamic.

Evan Lewandowski ’21 spoke about how Coach Andy Zidron has brought this change.

“Since the arrival of Coach Andy Zidron, the team has been centered around making the men’s soccer program more of a family than a stereotypical team. As both a coach and a father figure, Andy, his wife Kelly and his three kids have transformed this athletic program into what most would call a family,” said Lewandowski.

BJ Tally ’21 talked about how the general level of the team has risen this year.

“The skill level has definitely improved with the first-year class, and with upperclass students getting another year and having more experience,” said Tally.

Zacharias Andreou ’20 voiced the same opinion.

“We’re better than last year. We’ve had some good additions, including a transfer student (Andreas Xenofontos ’20) who has held pretty well. First years such as Keegan [King ’22] and Bennett [Anderson ’22] are doing well,” said Andreou.

Tally added how the team looked strong, and especially boasted a strong defensive unit.

“We’re a very athletic team with forwards who we’re able to play the ball to, and midfields that can serve in the ball. We have arguably one of the better defenses in the conference with our back four, and Will Collis ’20 in goal, who was also on the all-NCAC team last year,” he said.

Andreou added that the team has been in better shape this year following training in the last spring semester, and this had made a difference.

“I can definitely see a change in how the team is playing right now, and the teams which we played last year, we certainly have done a better job against them this year,” he said.

Lewandowski added that the team philosophy for this year has been focusing on making small, achievable goals, creating an atmosphere where every member strives to get better each week, taking the time they need.

“Every year the team slowly adopts more and more cultural aspects, this year’s big motto being ‘one percent’ You don’t get better overnight; it takes time, multiple practices and games. Every practice and every game, every player of the team strives to get one percent better, and over time, that really starts to add up,” he said.

In understanding what they could do better, Tally said that a game plan concentrating on possession could create more opportunities for the team to improve.

“We’d want to possess the ball more and not force a lot of things. With our forwards up top, we tend to force the ball a lot, and if we possessed the ball more, it could create more chances for us,” said Tally.

Lewandowski ended on a positive note, saying that the team is ready for a strong season.

“This season is looking to be one of our strongest seasons in a while, something that is being reinforced by the seniors and upper-class students. With a big game at home coming up against Bluffton, there is no other family I would rather be a part of than the Wooster Fighting Scots,” he said.

Clear your calendars and come out next Wednesday, Sept. 26 to support The College of Wooster Fighting Scots as they take on the Bluffton University Beavers at Carl Dale Field.