By Quinton Arthur
The Roosevelt Men’s soccer team made history for the university and the athletic department. The men’s soccer team won the 2015 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC), the first time that the team has secured the title in Roosevelt’s history.
Last year, the team gained tremendous momentum by winning 13 games, with an average of four goals per game, a rarity in the sport. This year, the team has a record of 11-0-1, making them the first undefeated team in the league since 2008.
Despite the injury of senior offensive midfielder Leo Rodriguez, the team’s regular season ended victoriously. In the last seven games of the season, the team went undefeated, making it challenging for other teams to score above two goals.
Men’s Soccer Coach Graham Brennan not only cultivated better players, but he helped contribute to the players overall well-being. According to players, the team enjoys not only the sport, but the chemistry and friendships they have with each other. Through their persevering spirit, they were able to overcome adversities in their personal lives and as players.
Sophomore Jose Garcia believes the season started off with obstacles, but forced him and other players to work more cohesively. Garcia was recruited from Wheeling High School, where he was recognized as the Chicago Sun-Times’ 2013 Player of the Year.
“A challenge we have faced is getting use to all the different types of players,” says Garcia. “Individually, it has been frustrating due to some injuries that have kept me from reaching my full potential. However, I am happy I can contribute to achieve what’s best for the team.”
Freshmen Defensive player Jesus Velasco didn’t let his underclassman status hinder his progression as a leader on the team.
“Individually, Coach Graham wanted me to become more vocal on the field,” says Velasco. “As the season went on I kept improving on directing the team defensively.”
Velasco earned the CCAC Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the week award for the week of October 20.
Players said that they wanted the legacy of the team to be one of greatness, and wished to be recognized as a competitive team.
Junior Evan Trychta stood out as a key player when he was recognized as CCAC Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the week, the same time Velasco was awarded.
“I hope this season sets the tone for years to come for Roosevelt soccer,” says Trychta. “Where being Conference champs and qualifying for Nationals each year becomes an expectation.”