Even though season has just begun, the men on Concordia’s soccer team are aiming to get to this year’s MIAC playoffs. The team is currently 2-8-1.
During the week from 5:15 p.m. – 7 p.m. the men are outside bonding as a team and toning their skills at practice for the upcoming games. According to senior Brett Wegleitner, practice consists of a technical warm up, breaking off into small-sited games and making sure they do not have to run waffle makers, or sprints.
Head coach Ben Schneweis feels all the hard work the men have put in so far has enabled them to truly become one team.
“We’ve simply grown as individuals and as a team since we came together in mid-August,” Schneweis said.
This year the team consists of 10 new players and several returning players. With the new numbers, Schneweis and the team have had to change up who plays what position.
“Some of our returners are playing in different positions, and we’re also playing a different formation than last year,” Schneweis said. “It’s taken us some time to figure out who we are as a team and how to play so that we can be successful within games.”
Despite having several new players, Schneweis has not changed up his coaching style.
“Our coaching staff has evaluated what our team strengths and weaknesses are and put together a formula where we can play to our strengths,” Schneweis said. “Coaches have to be able to find a balance of where team strengths meet team needs, and that balance can be different from year to year.”
Senior Alexandre Cyusa is very pleased with the new players’ contribution to the team.
“We have two new international players, one from Germany and another from Canada,” Cyusa said. “They’ve brought more pace to the team and are fast players.”
Wegleitner feels the sense of family provided by his teammates helps him throughout the year.
“We like to think of ourselves as a family,” Wegleitner said. “The team helps me not be homesick.”
Cyusa’s first language is French, so he had to learn how Americans communicate during the game.
“Learning the English terms was frustrating at first, but my teammates helped me understand information in a different language,” Cyusa said. “The team is very family based, it’s easy to blend.”
Wanting to make it to the MIAC playoffs is a big goal. The team, however, has buckled down and created a schedule that enables them to accomplish that goal.
“We have played a very tough schedule, as our strength of schedule is ranked the 14th toughest in the nation, so every game we’ve played has been a real challenge,” Schneweis said.
Cyusa feels one of the main reasons the team has had success this season is because of the amazing coaching staff.
“The coaching staff head coach, Ben, and our assistant coach (Jim Cella) has helped us improve,” Cyusa said. “Their positive attitude, experience and different background are why we’ve gotten so far.”
Schneweis is very happy with the team’s overall performance this season. He is confident the team’s success will continue and knows with a little perseverance the team will accomplish their overall goal.
“We must focus on working hard, improving and enjoying every day,” Schneweis said. “If we do all these things, I know we can do well.”
Hello! My name is Allie Smeeth, I am currently a junior at Concordia. I am majoring in Multimedia Journalism and minoring in Communications. Throughout my time at Concordia I’ve been involved in Habitat For Humanity, the Concordian and am currently involved in the up and coming Family Weekend Committee. Other than doing school work, I enjoy reading, watching tv, and hanging out with my lovely fellow cobbers. I grew up in Germany and have lived in South Carolina, Nebraska and Minnesota for the past three years. After college I plan on going to grad school for communications and plan on working at a non-profit in the cities after I’ve completed graduate school.