Men’s soccer ends fall on a high note

Andrew Zienty

Senior forward Keagan James runs with the ball. 
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

With the end of all fall practice seasons at IWU, the men’s soccer team closed with an intrasquad scrimmage. It was a hockey-style game with three periods in a winner-take-all format.

  The fall season was cut short by the CCIW due to COVID-19 precautions. Men’s soccer instead had a fall practice season of three or four practices a week for four weeks.

Last season the team went 9-8-2 in overall play and went 5-2-1 in conference play. While the team competed in the CCIW championship they fell short to North Park and did not earn a bid to the NCAA tournament. 

The scrimmage was the only kind of contact practice that the team had throughout their fall practice season. The teams were decided through a fantasy draft system run by the Juniors Brett Sprengel and Austin Woodside.

Team Woodside ended up winning the scrimmage with goals from Senior forward Keagan Jones, Sophomore forward Nico Thomas and first-year forward Josh Cohen.

Team Sprengel came up just short with goals from junior midfielder Zack Kokes and freshman forward Sasha Tylny.

In 2019 the team averaged 1.58 goals per game and went 9-8-2 for the season. 
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

“While the fall season wasn’t what we hoped for we are very proud that we were able to stay COVID free as a team and have 4 weeks of successful practices” junior Brett Sprengel said.

The team worked on more technical skills as they were not permitted to have contact sports until this scrimmage. “Physical fitness, building strength and endurance were the focus of this fall in preparation for a spring season” Sprengel said.

With no word from the CCIW on a potential spring season, “it is rumored that a plan for a CCIW only season will take place which would lead into an NCAA tournament” sophomore captain Clayton Anderson said.

Although the team lost 12 seniors, “the scrimmage helped us see what everyone’s role is and what we need to work on this winter season to increase our chance for success in the spring” Anderson said. 

“Our goal this fall as a team is to collectively work on our weaknesses either in the weight room or on the field and fine-tune our skills to compete for another CCIW championship and a bid to the NCAA tournament” sophomore Dorian Lesiuk said.