After another successful season, the men’s soccer team has one goal on its mind for the upcoming season, and that is getting back to Pittsburgh.
Over the last two years under head coach Adam Reeves, the Broncos earned themselves consecutive trips to the final four, but fell short in the semifinals both years.
After suffering the heartbreaking loss against West Chester in overtime, the team ended its 2018 season with an overall record of 17-7-0.
“The talent level remains the same,” coach Reeves said. “I love the group that is here and I think we have the foundation to compete and get back there.”
The Broncos have now entered the spring season, which is a time for them to find their identity and polish their skills in preparation for the fall.
“The results don’t really matter in the spring, but you want to challenge yourself against good competition,” coach Reeves said. “You get a feel for where your team is at and then you develop from there.”
So far, the team played four Division I opponents out of the Big West Conference, two of which were playoff contenders. The Broncos went 2-1-1.
“I think we are more connected now than we were before,” junior midfielder Alon Grod said. “We’ve been working on new formations, getting better and preparing for next season.”
The players understand the importance of taking care of their bodies and using the spring as a way to come together and build chemistry.
“Right now, we’re just focusing on a lot of fitness and more work inside the gym,” Grod said. “Every player needs to work on their technique.”
The Broncos said goodbye to six seniors last season. Of those seniors was star defender Nader Ghantous who was an integral part of their defense, earning All-American Honors for three years, as well as star goalkeeper Jakob Hansen.
“We have a hole to fill in at starting goalkeeper,”coach Reeves said. “We have one goalkeeper in-house now and obviously the staff and I are doing our due diligence to recruit more depth in that area.”
Fortunately for coach and his staff, there will be 10 experienced players returning as seniors to help carry the team into another successful year.
One of those players is junior midfielder Ori Kennett, who could’ve gradated this year, but was eligible to play another season and decided to stay and take one more shot at the title.
“We just need to keep working on the chemistry of the team,” Kennett said. “The way we play is different from other teams because we play more of passing and possessing the ball from the backline to the forward.”
The maturity, depth and overall experience of the team has put the Broncos in a position to make another deep run.
With a chip on their shoulders, they know exactly what it takes to make it to the final four, but they have unfinished business.
“We got so far, but we didn’t get the title,” Kennett said. “We want to go back to Pittsburgh, that’s the goal. Hashtag back to Pittsburgh.”
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