By: Ian Jackson, Contributing Reporter
With the season already in full swing, the men’s soccer team is looking to pull out all the stops to make the national championship this year.
With that goal in mind, the Lakers are taking it one game at a time in order to make their ultimate goal that they are destined for and with the group they have this year, it’s a possibility that this year will be the year.
“We have a challenging non-conference schedule against several nationally ranked National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) teams that will prepare us for the conference season. To qualify for the National tournament, we need to be regular season champions or win the conference tournament,” six-year Coach Graham Brennan said.
“The returning players are expected to have a huge impact on the group. We added 17 new players to the returning group of 11. To get a group of 28 players to have the same committed mindset and approach every day with a positive attitude toward self-improvement will rely heavily on the leadership of the upperclassman,” Brennan said.
It is hard to pick one opponent that Brennan and the men’s soccer team need to focus on because all of teams on the schedule are very competitive but that will not stop them.
“Our toughest opponent is always ourselves, if we expect success as a program and put in the work to achieve our goals, then we can compete with any team in the country,” Brennan said.
The players are also working to overcome some challenges of their own as this season progresses.
Junior center midfielder Oscar Gaytan has obstacles with having more new guys coming in than returning guys and needing time to gel as a team.
“This is my junior year and in my first two seasons at Roosevelt, our teams were dominated by upperclassmen. This year things changed, we have more new players than returning on our current roster,” Gaytan said.
Senior forward Jose Garcia’s obstacle is also handling with new players and maintaining the roster.
“One of the obstacle that will be hard to face this season is the amount of new players that were added to the team. I believe we don’t have a lot of returning players so it is always difficult to integrate the new players,” Garcia said.