Men’s soccer club team heads to nationals

Nicol Ausen

Rallying around a positive attitude and team morale, the ISU Men’s Soccer Club produced a third place victory in its regional tournament last weekend and earned a ticket to nationals.

The club had an even record of 7-7 going into the National Association of Collegiate Soccer’s regional tournament in Blaine, Minn. However, back-to-back wins against the University of Minnesota — St. Cloud and Minnesota State propelled the team into action.

The team came together last weekend to beat the South Dakota School of Mines, Moorhead State University and North Dakota State University, with only one loss to the University of Minnesota.

Two players of their starting line-up, sophomore midfielder Ryan Sander and junior defender Joe Lahart, were listed as injured going into the tournament.

“The team we lost to last weekend was fourth last year at nationals, and we only lost to them by one,” said Ryan Castro, senior in computer science and biology. “We hope to make a strong run for the title this year.”

Assistant Coach Adrian van Etten, senior in journalism and mass communications, said that the frustrated team members realized early on in the season that they had to work on the mental aspect of their game.

“The skills were there all along, we just had bad motivations,” he said.

However, the club rallied together when it came time for regionals. “We realized at regionals that it was do or die to make it to nationals,” van Etten said.

The ISU Men’s Soccer Club competes in regular season with teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Five teams from their region are going to nationals this year.

The club was told the scouts for the national tournament this season were not just looking for the best record, but for the best overall teams to compete. “The guy came and looked at us, and said that Iowa State is considered a quality club program,” Castro said.

The club competes in the national tournament on Nov. 18-20 in Florida. The club’s last regular season match will be Saturday against the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.