Wildcats look ahead to fall season with high expectations
Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 19:08
As the summer begins to turn to fall, that only means one thing for UNH men’s soccer head coach Rob Thompson: a new season and a new start. After a subpar performance from the Wildcats last season, the team looks to progress in the right direction.
Last year, the Wildcats finished the regular season at 7-7-6 and came as close as they could to claiming an American East conference title by losing 4-2 in penalty kicks against UMBC. Even though the team lost plenty of key players from the previous senior class of that season, the team has added 11 newcomers for this season in place of the eight players lost.
With the preseason just beginning, Thompson needs to get a grasp on what this team is going to be like.
“It is really hard to tell with what our expectations are, because the season is so new, and we have a lot of new guys here to compete,” Thompson said.
Thompson expects the team to be competitive, and to get better each and every day on and off the field.
“We expect to get better. We will have 11 competitive starters day in and day out, but I and the rest of the coaching staff needs to see what we have to do before the season starts,” Thompson said.
Teams are built around an identity, and right now this upcoming team has yet to dig at a foundation because the season is just so new. Thompson highly emphasizes individual leadership within the team, because in order to be successful, everyone needs to bring something to the table.
When asked if any players stand out to Thompson for the upcoming season, he simply could not single out any player.
“Everyone can bring something, and each one has their strengths and that’s what we need them to do in order to be competitive. As a team we need to build off one another’s strengths and learn from each other,” Thompson said.
A lot of unknowns are still present but, in time, through practice, scrimmages and pre-season matchups, a better judgment at where this team stands will be decided then.
Rob Thompson is very pleased with the sophomore class entering this season and feels that they are ahead of everyone else on the team as far as getting better.
“The sophomore class looks a lot better. Each one of these guys has been training hard and I sure can see a difference from the spring games. Lukas Goerigk, A.J Albers, and Jesus Tudela look impressive,” Thompson said. “The senior class is expected to be great, because they have one year left to give it all they’ve got, and obviously the junior class will be working harder to get where they want to be.”
With the season hardly here and many questions left unanswered for the UNH men’s soccer team, one thing is for certain. In the words of Rob Thompson: “We will be competitive.”