The Northwestern Red Raider men’s soccer team finished last season disappointed and highly motivated. According to many of the players, their loss in the first round of last season’s GPAC Tournament burned a memory into the players’ minds.
“Last season was pretty successful,” senior defender Matt Dowie said. “We finished third in the conference, and overall we thought we had a successful season. It didn’t end up how we wanted it to. We definitely held on to that in the off season and it pushed us in our workouts, and now we are taking this season as a new one and improving on that finish.”
The Raiders finished the season 11-5-2 (6-3-1 in GPAC). This season they are looking to improve and make a push for the national tournament. Only one team will automatically qualify from the GPAC.
“Last year we finished with 11-plus wins and third in GPAC for the second year in a row,” head coach Dan Swier said. “We have seven returners who received all-conference accolades and are looking to build on that performance.”
This season’s team includes a spectrum of talents and experience. This depth and youth gives the NW roster options at every position.
“I think we have a deep team of skilled players,” senior forward Jeriah Dunk said. “All of whom have the potential to make an impact on the field. Once we get our momentum, I don’t think there is much that can slow us down.”
According to Swier, the Raiders have a difficult non conference schedule this year that will challenge the players and better prepare them for success in the conference. The current record is 1-3.
“Everyone is excited about this season,” Swier said. “With so much leadership and experience in the team, we feel that we can exceed what we have done over the past seasons.”
The Raiders will look to pick up a home win on Saturday night. Kick-off is at 6 p.m.