Men’s and women’s soccer teams share excitement about the upcoming season
By Lauren Wolters, WoltersL1@Findlay.edu
The University of Findlay men’s soccer team kicked off their season with a game at D’Youville University on Thursday, Aug. 31. They started their season strong, winning the game five to zero. The women’s soccer team also began their season on Aug. 31 playing Rollins College. They lost a competitive game with Rollins three to one.
Head coach of the men’s soccer team, Andy Smyth shared his excitement about the upcoming season in an email interview.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how our incoming class blends in with some experienced returners,” Smyth said. “There’s a lot of talent in our freshmen [class], but there’s always a transition to the college game.”
Coach Smyth explained his team’s strategy going into the game against D’Youville.
“D’Youville is a young program and our team is aware of that,” Smyth said. “I want to make sure we go into this game with the right mentality — that is, we need to play at the level we are capable of, not down to the level of our opponent.”
In addition to the coaches, the players are excited to begin the season. Senior Ellie Tischler, who plays middle on the women’s soccer team, shared what she is looking forward to in the upcoming season.
“I am most excited about being back in such a competitive environment and making special memories with the team,” Tischler said. “We have been working so hard since our season came to an end last year and it’s been really cool to see the growth. I can’t wait for that to show this season.”
Tischler also shared her favorite memory thus far in her athletic career at UF.
“One of my favorite soccer memories here at UF would be our trip to Ireland in the summer of 2022,” Tischler said. “It was a once in a lifetime experience that really helped create such a special bond within our team and our family members. We also got the opportunity to play against three teams from Ireland while being there, so that was amazing getting to play against that type of competition.”
Coach Smyth delved into some of the challenges he expects for the men’s soccer team.
“The biggest challenge is that our conference is very strong, especially at the top; so, we will have to perform consistently well to compete at the top of the league,” Smyth said. “We should be a strong team offensively. We’ll create a lot of chances and have players who can score goals.”
With the start of a new season, there may be different challenges the teams face.
“I think the biggest challenge for us will be overcoming the uncontrollable factors that come up during the season, whether that is injuries, weather, field conditions, etc.,” Tischler said. “These types of situations occur often, so making sure we stay unified and play for one another and the university will be vital.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams are excited and have high expectations for their collective seasons.
“Our main goal is to be in the hunt for a league championship all the way to the end of the season,” Smyth said. “We have a good squad with a lot of competition for playing time. The thing that the coaching staff will focus on will be making sure that we have the defensive skill set and attitude to make it difficult to score on us. If we can do that, we will have a chance of winning every game.”
The men’s team is currently 1-0-1 on the season and will play next at Wheeling University on Sept. 9 at 6:00 p.m. The women are 0-1-1 on the season and will face Ferris State University on Sep. 8 at 4:00 p.m. in Findlay.