Men’s soccer moves forward to the midseason

Nathan Kwapisz, Sports Writer

Men’s soccer has started their season out with a 3-2-1 start. Coach Alex Fatovic hopes to maintain this intensity from last weekend’s shutout win against St. Cloud State and comeback win from Upper Iowa. 

“We’re just keeping the same routine,” Fatovic said.

Fatovic plans to keep the players in their same routine to continue their success moving forward. 

“For us to kind of pull it together, and the end result of seven goals in the weekend conceding four shots, you have to say that’s progress for us,” Fatovic said. “We’re moving forward thinking about Purdue Northwest.”  

The men’s soccer team had a lot of success last weekend with their comeback and shutout win. Fatovic said that the team has come together and is developing on the field. With college athletics you can’t focus on the past much, and Fatovic is already looking forward to next week at Purdue Northwest. 

“We’ve already watched the tape, we’re gonna start installing the game plan today with some of the guys that are training. But yeah, it’s just on to the next one and call it soccer,” Fatovic said.

Fatovic and the team are looking forward to their next games after this weekend, as the schedule shifts to one game a week with two of the three games being held at home. 

He talked about how the team held a controlling front against Upper Iowa. The two penalty kicks they received were from the team playing good dominating soccer and forcing Upper Iowa into bad positions. 

“I think the message from the weekend, more than just finishing our chances and looking at the stats, was that they were prepared and focused with a game plan for Friday and for Sunday,” Fatovic said. “They were focused in the team meetings, they were focused on our training sessions, and they were wired in for both games and you can see that from the first minute of Sunday’s game. We completely dominated and we came out and got the early goal.”

This focus and early domination of the game was a direct result of how the players interacted, according to Fatovic. Their connection and support of one another led them to succeed as a team.

“You can just see the celebration from the team, how they’re so connected, they always come over to the sideline to celebrate with their teammates versus kind of going off by themselves,” Fatovic said. 

The challenge for Fatovic is helping his players enjoy the game and celebrate, but also stay focused. 

“I think that the natural balance of coaching is figuring out how to stay loose and keep the guys loose,” Fatovic said. “They’re still kids and you want to have a good time but at the same time, just focus, but I think I attribute that to them and the leadership of the older guys with the culture they’ve created.”

He relies on his upperclassmen to help direct the energy of the team. After playing collegiate soccer for a number of years, they have practice knowing when to be serious and when it’s time to cut loose to keep everyone on the team balanced. 

 “The main thing to check is our spirit and the spirit’s high,” Fatovic said. “For me that’s positive and we’re gonna stay in that and hopefully stay in that realm as long as we can.”