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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Soccer teams struggle to find wins

Monday, October 1, 2007  
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By Chad Hartwell

After historical seasons in 2006, Oklahoma Christian University’s soccer teams are off to slow starts.

The Eagles won 12 games last season and advanced to the second round of the NAIA National Tournament. Through seven games this season, their record stands at 2-3-2.

Despite their early struggles, men’s soccer coach David Scott believes the Eagles have played well for the majority of their games this season.

“Our early schedule has featured some very good teams,” Scott said. “We put ourselves in tough situations in those games by making some silly mistakes, and the teams we have been playing are good enough to punish us for them.”

Scott believes some of their struggles have come from starting slow and getting into early holes.

“It’s tough to come from behind when you are playing good teams,” Scott said. “We have to learn to put together a full 90 minutes of hard work from the opening whistle and limit our mistakes.

“We aren’t struggling from an ability standpoint. We just have to improve our intensity and focus early in games.”

The Eagles have also struggled defensively this year. Last season, Oklahoma Christian allowed just 24 goals in 19 games behind a stingy back-line and goalkeeper Bryan Cochrum. This year the Eagles have already given up 17 goals in seven games.

Even with the early losses, the Eagles have made improvements throughout the year and will continue to make more in order to reach their goals.

“We have made a lot of improvements in our chemistry on the field but still have some areas we need to work on,” Scott said. “If we can limit our mistakes and solidify our defense a little, we can definitely turn things around.

With every starter returning from a team that went undefeated during the regular season and amassed a record of 17-2-2 in 2006, the women’s soccer team has not played up to expectations either.

This year, the Lady Eagles have already lost more than twice as many games with an overall record of 3-5 going into Thursday night’s road game against Oklahoma City University.

“There is a lot of talent on the team this year, so there has been a question of why we’ve been struggling for a little while now, but I feel we are all on the same page again,” senior captain Meagan Pless said. “We have to find that attitude to want to win again, and it is coming.”

Pless believes in future games their play will turn around.

“You have to play every game like it is different, so the tables can turn in just one game,” Pless said. “Everyone has to be accountable on the field. Having confidence that our teammate will do her part is important.”

The Lady Eagles started off their season with a rugged schedule as three of their five losses have come to teams ranked in the top 30 of the NAIA National Poll.

The women’s struggles could be traced to their defense as well. The Lady Eagles allowed 16 goals in 21 games last year, but have already given up 12 this season. On the offensive side, they scored 57 goals in 2006 but have netted just 12 goals through eight games this year.

“We have to play within ourselves and have the attitude to win every game we play,” Pless said. “When it comes to the end of the season, I see us having won a lot of games, but right now we have to just worry about the next game.”

THE LADY EAGLES WILL PLAY THEIR FIRST HOME GAME AFTER SIX STRAIGHT ROAD CONTESTS SATURDAY AFTERNOON WHEN THEY TAKE ON PARK (MO.) UNIVERSITY AT 1 P.M. THE EAGLES PLAY AT OKLAHOMA CITY UNIVERSITY SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7 P.M.



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