On Saturday, Sept. 5, men’s soccer defeated Rollins, a top ranked team from Florida. The Orediggers prevailed 4-3 after a hard fought game against Rollins with contributions from seniors Richard Garvey and Ryan Leach, as well as sophomore Preston Migaki.
According to Leach, Saturday’s game was “just the start and a good building block.” The team hopes to be back-to-back RMAC champions and earn a spot in the national tournament.
Last season, the team fell short of the national tournament despite winning the RMAC championship. Senior leader Joe Haines described the team as disappointed but stated that “it’s rare to end on a high note,” and that “last year the team created a culture that works hard for each other.”
At practice, the team’s hard working culture has heightened the level of competition. Head Coach Kohlenstein says that more players competing creates depth and “allows the team to fill in for injuries, and players having bad weeks.”
Recognizing the ability of his team, Kohlenstein wants the Orediggers to “prove themselves on the national scale” and is excited by the series of “tough matches” in the team’s schedule.
The Orediggers are scheduled to play ten teams ranked within the top five in their respective regions. Kohlenstein expects “a crazy year in the conference and region” and realizes the Orediggers “have to play the best to be the best” to advance in the national standings.
Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Orediggers played Regis in a close game and prevailed 2-1 in overtime. Freshman John Haist scored early in the game, and sophomore Nikolaus Grotz gave the team the win during the second overtime.
Ryan Leach explained the team’s focus as “getting better every game, every practice. I think there are a lot of people stepping up, a lot of subs came in against Regis and everyone did a good job.”
The Orediggers advance into the season with two big wins under their belt, however, the team is only looking forward to the next time they are on the field.
Joe Haines described the game as “a great result, overall good team effort, we battled hard for each other.”
Before the home game Sunday, Sept. 13 against St. Edward’s, the team is “taking it one practice at a time, trying to work on things, getting better defensively along with finishing chances to put the game away when we can.”