The University’s men’s soccer team entered this season with lofty expectations to meet. Last year’s team reached the summit of the proverbial mountain, obtaining the Landmark Conference Championship.
This season, the team attempts to replicate last season’s success. So far, the Royals have manufactured a record of 7-3.
Junior forward Connor Casey said the team’s offseason preparation helped prepare them for trials and tribulations of the regular season.
“We came in this offseason and put in a lot of work. We did a lot of fitness workouts, so we came back in shape,” Casey said. “We have an older group, so we’re able to instill confidence in the young guys and show them the ropes a little bit more about how we have a winning culture.”
Casey’s assertion about having a winning culture is not unwarranted. The Royals have not had a losing season since the 2005 campaign. Casey also cited the team’s chemistry as a reason for their success this year.
“I think our chemistry is great. Having 10 seniors who have been here for four years so that definitely helps on the field. The older guys are able to communicate very well on the field with the younger guys, almost how to operate. It definitely helps the on-field and off-field chemistry.”
While the chemistry has been adept, Casey noted it is a microcosm of the team simply having fun.
“I think we’re really having fun out there. In the past, our coach has said, ‘Oh, it looks like you don’t want to be here.’ But this year we show up to practice, and we have a good attitude and we’re having fun, and that really translates to games,” Casey said.
Senior midfielder Tim DiBisceglie said the key to continued success this year is simple: keep doing what the team is doing.
“I think we just need to keep playing strong. We had an unfortunate loss against E-Town, but we have a strong record. We’ve been doing a lot of things right so far, and we got off to one of the best starts in school history. We just have to keep the right mindset and keep the young guys playing well,” DiBesceglie said,
Although the Royals have absorbed three losses on the year, DiBisceglie noted the team does not allow setbacks to occupy real estate on their brain.
“We kind of just put it behind us. We get over losses very quickly. It’s something we’re pretty good at,” DiBisceglie said.
While it is easy to look toward the postseason, DiBisceglie said the team is keeping a stable mindset, applying a “one game at a time” mantra.
“It’s just important for us to look at things one game at a time. I know it’s easy to look at the postseason and expect to make it there,” DiBisceglie said. “But every opponent in the Landmark Conference is tough. We’re going to give them a challenge, and they’re going to give us a challenge. It’s important to look at each practice as a stepping stone toward the next game.”
The Royals take the field at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Susquehanna University. The Royals’ next home game is Oct. 12 against Dickinson College.