By Sam Stevenson, The Circuit.
The Raven Men’s Soccer team came into its final game of the regular season sporting a 13-3-1 record. However, the record is not all this team has achieved this year—the Ravens have had a historically successful season.
The Raven Men’s Soccer team has put up an impressive record, but the numbers go deeper than that. They have posted a 6-2-1 record in away games and a 7-1 record at home.
“We enjoy playing here, it gives us some great energy,” said senior Ryan Dickerson.
That 13-3-1 record is the best the Raven men have put up since 2011 when the squad put up a 15-3-0 record. That year the Raven men scored 46 goals. Coming into their last game, this year’s squad already has 46 goals and is set to surpass the 2011 squads total if they stick to their high scoring trend at home. The Raven men have scored 29 goals at home this year.
“I enjoy watching the games for sure, its always going to be a high scoring game,” said sophomore Chris Spoerl. “Their style of play is just very fun to watch.”
“They play fast and it is really exciting to watch,” said sophomore Jim Bryant. “It seems like every time I’ve watched them they’ve put up five points. You can tell they all know where the other is going to be and trust each other all the way down the roster.”
The chemistry is plain to see in the eyes of some of the younger players such as freshman forward John Paul Wick.
“I’d say there is a pretty tight bond,” Wick said. “We have our captains and they were voted captains by us because we look up to them and they’ve done a good job.”
The leaders on the team have indeed been stepping up. Team captain Adam James ranks seventh in the division with five game-winning goals and senior forward Ryan Dickerson ranks eighth with four game-winners of his own.
The accolades for this team’s top players have not been shy either. Adam James has brought home the Offensive Player of the Week for both the Heart of America Conference and the NAIA. Goalie Caleb Jenkins brought in the Heart Defensive Player of the Week and in that same week sophomore midfielder Ruairi Cotter was awarded with the Heart Offensive Player of the Week.
“I’m a little giddy to be honest with you,” Bryant said before the playoffs “It is going to be cool to see our guys in there. I can’t wait.”
Although the Ravens lost in the playoffs against Mid-America Nazarene University in a 1-1 shootout, spirits are high after a successful season for men’s soccer.