Men’s Soccer ends season with tough quarterfinals loss

The SIUE Men’s soccer team took a tough loss at home in the Missouri Valley Conference quarterfinals against Bradley, losing 2-1. 

Head Coach Cale Wassermann, said the team’s ability to handle adversity is one of the things that stood out to him about the season.

“We don’t really make excuses so, at the end of the day, we’re a little disappointed with how the season went. However, we had like five to six starters or key contributing guys out injured for a lot of the year. We had quite a short-handed group, and even with that adversity, we lost eight games by one goal,” Wassermann said. “Our guys never backed down, they continued to fight, they continued to push. They fought through a lot of adversity, and I’m proud of that because I think other groups might have buckled.” 

Senior defenseman Corban McAvinew from Canal Fulton, Ohio, said the team handled setbacks well. 

“We bounce back really well when we faced adversity. We had a lot of difficult games and setbacks, but were able to get some really positive performances and never gave up,” McAvinew said. 

McAvinew said one of the team’s strengths is their ability to possess the ball. 

“We have a very technical team that is always looking to play on the ground and it allows us to see a lot of the ball,” McAvinew said. 

Sophomore defenseman Max Broughton from Rawtenstall, England, said there were specific plays that stood out to him about the loss to Bradley. 

“The penalties we should’ve been given stand out to me, as well as the tackles I made,” Broughton said. 

For McAvinew, there was one particular part of the game that stood out to him.

“Bradley made some crucial saves in the first half that could have changed the course of the game. In the second half, we had a good goal immediately following Bradley’s goal to equalize. For myself, this goal was assisted by me, so it particularly stood out,” McAvinew said. 

McAvinew said his experience playing for SIUE is something he will remember. 

“The thing I will miss the most is the camaraderie of the team and just going out and being able to compete with my friends every day. The trips and experiences will always be remembered,” McAvinew said. 

Broughton said he is excited about next season. 

“I look forward to meeting new players and creating a new team,” Broughton said.

Wassermann looks forward to the spring season, which hasn’t happened in a while. 

“We haven’t had a true spring season in the last two years. I’ve only been here for about two and a half years so most of my time being here we haven’t had the opportunity to have a spring season. For me, the spring is a huge opportunity for building team cohesion, training and individual and small group development,” Wassermann said. 

Wassermann said his team’s goals will remain the same going into next season. 

“People might think after a year like this, that the goals should change and you should lower your standards, but really for us, we aren’t satisfied. So, our goals will remain the same. We want to compete, our goal is to make a run at the National Championship and be in the NCAA tournament, to give ourselves a chance to do so,” Wassermann said. “I think we should be a team that is competing for the Missouri Valley Championship every year. We finished third this year even battling through some adversity. So our hope is that we are competing next year for the Missouri Valley championship and that starts today.”

 

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