UMPI men’s soccer looking for playoff berth in the NAC

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 2:19 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The UMPI Men’s Soccer Team is back with experienced players, aiming to have an outstanding season by using their skills and giving their opponents a tough challenge.

Alan Gordon, UMPI Head Coach:” We’re really excited about the prospects of the ‘23 season, we have 8 returning starters from last year, with some years of experience under their belt, so some of them are now getting to that junior and senior year, 3 or 4 years, some 5 because of Covid, and super excited to see all their hard work over the last few years onto the field”.

This season, the owls are emphasizing stronger defensive play to create offensive chances and developing players to excel in multiple positions while enhancing their shooting skills.

Joshua Thomas: ”We’re trying alot more this season, last year we didn’t do it very hard and this year we’re trying to press and kind of catch the other team off guard when they pass around”.

Steven Nader:” Definitely that multi-positional kind of aspect of our players. We have guys playing center back and right back, left back you know moving around there, we have guys moving from center back up to the midfield just you know in case other people get injured, they got back ups for that. Definitely focusing on our shooting, i think we have to really focus on where we place shots and stuff and i think thats how we can be deadly this year”.

This year, a major advantage for the program is the abundance of home games, with at least 9 scheduled. The team is thrilled to play in front of their local fans and reduce the stress of long-distance travel.

Steven Nader:” Traveling really puts a toll on your body that people just don’t understand you know sitting on a bus for 10 hours really isn’t great for your legs, and then you also have to think about playing on different fields and stuff and stuff like that. Having our own trainer, Brian Morrison with us, i think thats really good. i think he’s really taking care of us well, you know having someone like that you can trust, really just helps and puts your body like to rest; Having your own bed in sleep in, your own shower, everything like that its just, those little things really help you that people don’t really notice”.

Joshua Thomas:” Since were home a lot more its going to be easier to hang out with the team more and even family and friends can come since its alot closer. I think we won’t be as tired i don’t think with all the traveling”

The team’s chemistry, along with its leadership, will be a key factor in their success.

Remar Shirley:” The chemistry with have, the connection we have to like, we’re really, were connected to each other and there’s really no negative thoughts against each other so i think thats a big thing to help us to go forward . we just gotta keep the hard work going, you know it will pay off in the end”.

Despite their achievements last season, this team isn’t content with occasional wins; they believe they have playoff potential this year.

Jonathon Eigenmann, Newssource sports.