Men’s soccer ends season in second

posted in: Sports, Winter | 0
Pacific University’s men’s soccer team made great improvements this season in becoming one of the top teams in the Northwest Conference. After falling short of winning the conference, head coach Eric Mild sees the team making great strides in becoming a top team for next year and beyond. 
“This season was definitely a step forward for the program from a performance standpoint and from a result standpoint,” Mild said. “We try to focus more on the process and what is going to make our team successful and try not to worry so much about the results.” Mild and the players set many goals before the season and one of them was to improve defensively. They gave up 36 goals last season and they gave up only 27 this season.
This includes the Boxers loss against Whitworth University in which the team gave up a season high of seven goals. “One of our teams goals was to improve defensively because last year we conceded far too many goals to be really tremendously successful,” Mild said. “We really tried to focus on being better defensively especially defending set pieces, restarts and we did that.”   Junior goalkeeper Leyton Thommasen was very impressed with the achievements the team made this season, but he also sees improvements that can be made for next season. “We are getting better everyday mentally, physically and cohesively,” Thommasen said.
“I believe that we have done well to exceed a number of our expectations, but at the same time we need to continually push ourselves together and individually to get ready for our ascent in next year’s conference.” Thommasen has played a major role in the team’s success in being one of the top teams in the conference. Leading the league in saves with 92 and the next closest goalkeeper had 61. 
“On and off the field I do my best to set an example as a leader,” Thommasen said. “Many others have stepped up this year especially defenders like Keilian and Eamonn who last year were nervous and inexperienced, but set the tone the second they stepped onto the pitch this year. There are many other players that have been contributing as well to our success.” The Boxers are just scratching surface with what they can be as a team this past season. The team made great improvements compared to last season and seasons before. “Even though we had a really good season, our best soccer is still ahead us,” Mild said. “We are going to play a really tough schedule next year and hope it prepares us well for conference play so that we can compete for a conference title, because that is our goal.”

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