Men’s Soccer Finds Rhythm, Confidence

In the last three weeks, the men’s soccer team has won conference games against Colorado Christian, Colorado State-Pueblo, Metro State, Colorado Springs, Regis, and South Dakota School of Mines. With a goal difference of 21-2 in the last six games, it seems the team has found their groove.

“We score a lot of goals, but more importantly we didn’t concede any,” John Haist said.

“The spirit and work rate of the team was excellent last week,” Head Coach Frank Kohlenstein said during practice before the team’s game against Metro.

The Orediggers took the field Friday (9/25) against Metro, it remained scoreless into overtime. With 6:25 left on the clock, Senior Richard Garvey capitalized on an opportunity to give the Orediggers the game.

“It was a team effort, we ran as hard as we could, and got them as tired as we could, and capitalized when it came,” Garvey said after the game. “We went at it, the whole team went at it, we ran as hard as we could the whole game. In the end the pressure was bound to let them burst”.

“The game was back and forward. We were getting shots and they were getting shots,” stated goalkeeper Collin Hall. “Everyone was in it from start to finish, a good team effort and a great team win.”

The Oredigger’s finished the weekend playing Colorado Springs Sunday (9-27) to another 1-0 victory. The goal being scored by so. Nikolaus Grotz late in the second half.

Friday (10/02) the Orediggers played Regis at home to a 2-1 victory. Freshman John Haist scored two goals late in the first half to give the team the lead. Regis answered early in the second half but was unable to produce a second goal. John Haist described the games afterwards,

“I think they struggled to deal with the high pressure in the first half, I think we had more energy in the first half and that’s where the goals came from” Haist said. “We’ve got a lot more to show in the future, and we have a really good squad and a lot of depth in the squad.”

Aiding in their goal production, the offense has been able to apply pressure in key areas of the field to create turnovers. The defense starts with the forwards and midfield working back to create a strong first line of defense.

“Our offense puts their defense under a lot of pressure and gets them to freak out on the ball. That is what creates a lot of our opportunities right in front of their goal,” Andres Ramirez explained.

Despite their streak of success and like any team, there are bad days that accompany the good.

“I think playing for each other is important to keeping us on track, we’ve had some bad days and some bad games, but we’ve been able to push through it.”

One of the team’s strengths this year is their leadership.

“Three seniors on defense results in a lot of leadership and communication,” Ryan Leach said.

“I think everyone is focused and everyone is having fun, you can see it at practice that everyone wants to play,” Nikolaus Grotz said.

As the season continues, Coach Kohlenstein feels the team is getting better.

“We’ve gotten a lot better as a team and how we play tactically,” he said. “This allows us to play a high pressure style of soccer so everyone really matters. We try to step up together and try to get everyone involved with the attack as well as working back on defense.”

The team’s recent success has led to a heightened confidence.

“We feel really good about how we played last week, but it doesn’t matter this week,” Coach Kohlenstein said.

The team sets their sights toward their next game against Westminster tonight.

Photo by Leah Pinkus.

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