By: Olivia Wile
A new school year brings a new season for both the University of Findlay men’s and women’s soccer teams. Athletes from both teams returned to campus early with the beginning of their official seasons starting August 10.
Returning for his second year as an Oiler, forward Brian Bethel says conditioning has been the name of the game for his team so far.
“The first three days were the hardest just because of all the running we have to do,” said Bethel. “As the week went on and we started focusing more on soccer it was less difficult. Our coach still finds a way to keep conditioning even in the soccer drills though.”
A new year also brings new talent to the UF soccer program. Bethel says the freshman have been a good contribution so far.
“We’ve got a good class of freshmen. They definitely keep things competitive,” said Bethel. “The most exciting thing is probably just being able to hang out and play soccer with all my teammates.”
Building off their success from last year, Bethel says his team has high expectations for this season.
“The team is shooting for top two finish because we’re always aiming to be the best.”
After a very successful preseason, the women’s soccer team has a lot of momentum carrying them into regular season. Last spring, the women went undefeated in the six games they played and also went six hours and 45 minutes without conceding a goal.
“We set some goals at the start of the spring, and while we didn’t achieve ever single goal, we weren’t far off,” said Head Coach James Walker. “Our team defense was excellent.”
As Walker joined the Oiler family just last winter, sophomore goal keeper Nicole Burke attributes their success to him.
“He understood that we just came from a season were no one enjoyed it and he has helped us fall in love with soccer again,” said Burke. “I love working with him because he has great knowledge for the game and helps us get better every day.”
In regards to how the regular season is going so far, Burke says the women are building off their successful spring.
“It has been going really well. Everyone has been in a good mood and have been working hard!”
Like Bethel, Burke sees a lot of potential in the team’s freshman class.
“They are contributing a lot! They fit in with us really well. They are the pieces we were missing!
Catch the Oiler women back at home against Urbana Thursday, Aug. 30. The men will return on Sept. 20 when they take on Ohio Dominican.