Men’s soccer focuses on team culture during off-season

By Kaitlyn Smith, A&E Editor

The men’s soccer team has started its spring semester, where it will play against other teams in a scrimmage segment.

During the spring, the team plays eight games where it can focus on getting everyone fair playing time and a chance to work on plays in a non-competitive setting.

Head Coach Cliff Brown said that he is always relieved to make it to the spring.

“The spring is all about establishing and reinforcing team culture,” Brown said. “Digging a little bit deeper into the system of play so players have their roles spelled out and understand what is necessary to win... Putting everything together without the pressure that we have during the season where we can be a little more relaxed in our play, take time to enjoy it a little bit and make progress.”

During soccer’s main season, the team never has a break. They typically play two games a week and work practice and training into the mix.

“Sunday’s your day off, Monday’s kinda your recovery day, Tuesday you train hard, and if we’re away, you’re traveling on Wednesday, so you don’t have a lot of time. On Friday, you’re changing cities to go to the next game for Saturday. You might get a training session, you might not,” Brown said.

Brown said that there is little time for tactical preparation and that there’s a lot they can’t accomplish during the season.

“The spring is the time where you can really dig into things a lot more, really fine tune your tactics in your organization and bring some concepts to them. That is difficult to do during the season,” Brown said.

Andreas Agrell, junior and team captain, said that he is ready to take on the spring season.

“I am very excited for the games coming up,” he said. “We’ve spent lots of time in the weight room. I’m excited to go out on the field and to see what we’ve been working on - how that will pay off on the field - and to implement what we’ve been working on in practice.”

The team is officially moved to the MIAA conference, where there are only four other men’s soccer teams. The team will also play as a part of the Great American Conference where there are another four men’s teams.

“We’re going into a new conference and that’s very exciting, to compete against new schools,” Agrell said. “As the captain and a senior, this will be a big season. I’m ready to step up and lead the team to great results. Everyone knows what we’re capable of.”

PHOTO: THE MEN’S SOCCER TEAM is scheduled to play eight non-championship games during their off-season this year.  Courtesy Photo, Newman Athletics.