Men’s Soccer Dreams Big, Prepares for Upcoming Season/by Jace Aymond
Although COVID-19 has delayed the start of the new soccer season until at least 2021, the Choctaws are locked in and have big plans in mind for the upcoming season. Returning key players join ranks with a new recruiting class that has the potential to make big waves in their first year.
The MC men’s soccer team finished with a 9-2-5 record last year, in which they had the best defense in the conference as well as the fourth best offense. However, they came up short in postseason play as the Choctaws lost to Lee University in overtime in the second round of the Gulf South Conference Tournament by a score of 2-1.
Senior Connor Johnson knows the standards that the team has for this upcoming year. “Our main goal is to win the conference,” he said, “but I know that has an asterisk by it.” Johnson also knows how much talent the team has, noting that they “have a lot of leadership coming back,” and “a lot of goal-scoring potential that are coming in with new recruits”.
Although the Choctaws’ return to the pitch is delayed by a few months, Head Coach Kevin Johns claims that this longer offseason “is set up perfect for us considering how many new players and staff we have, besides myself.” Johnson also noted that “we’re able to play without any pressure. We’re able to get more used to our quality, our players being on the field, and our bonding off the field which all helps us in the season in the spring.” As far as his team goes, Johns is excited about the players he has now. “We focused on recruiting attacking players that we think are dynamic and able to score goals,” he explained, “Defending wise, we brought everybody back. We have the best keeper in the conference and our whole back line is returning except for one player, so we’re pretty strong there.”
With all the returning talent and the new offensive-minded recruits, the team is expecting lots of firepower when matches resume. Even though the Choctaw men’s soccer team is not currently playing, they are grateful that they are able to practice and are looking forward to starting the season in the new year.