“I have never seen a team want to win as badly as our team does,” said sophomore centerback Matt Dowie, of the Raider’s men’s soccer team. “We can beat anyone.”
Northwestern’s 2010 record begged to differ. Going 5-10-2 overall, the Raiders were also a disappointing 3-7-1 in the GPAC conference. But junior defender (and co-captain) Nathan Mastbergen would call your attention to an interesting statistic.
“Last year was a year of unfulfilled potential and frustration. We lost 10 games, nine of them by one goal,” Mastbergen said.
In 2011, the Raidershave started out 2-0-1. Mastbergen would attribute that to the team’s chemistry and communication.
“We look to overwhelm our opponents with communication, establishing ourselves as a driven and cohesive unit,” Mastbergen said. “We look to intimidate our opponents with our communication, leading them to believe we are bigger or better than we actually are.”
The Raiders are looking to establish themselves as a GPAC powerhouse, and for the first time since Coach Dan Swier arrived on the scene, they are in a position to do just that.
“This is the first time since I became coach that we aren’t relying heavily on freshmen. We are still a young team, we have no seniors,” Swier said, “but we have a lot more experience than the past two seasons.”
The road to nationals won’t be easy: it goes through defending national champs Hastings, but if it comes down to a matter of confidence, the young Raiders should be just fine.