By Brett LaBore
What makes a team successful? Is it the amount of games they win? Is it the points scored in a season? Or is it the fun that they had?
The Bethany men’s soccer team has had a tough season thus far and are trying to find ways to look at the positives. It can be easy to dismiss a season like this and forget it ever even happened. But they have continued to push on. Junior Broderick Brown mentioned that.
“Knowing that this year was a developing year and we keep building and growing as a team,” said Brown, “team chemistry is something we’ve focused on this year.”
One reason the team has had some struggles is because they don’t have any true seniors. They don’t have that true senior leadership with the oldest players being juniors.
“When you look at the roster, we have 13-15 freshman, and no true seniors. You can’t expect everyone to make that up,” said junior goalkeepker Matthew Bitter
The stats won’t blow anyone away. They’ve scored six goals all year and have yet to win a game. But the season has had a bit more of an upswing as of late as five of their six goals have been scored since Oct. 5.
“I think the freshman group gets along well. Good group of young kids on and off the field,” said mens coach Rob Pipal.
The team hopes to be playing their best soccer as they finish their last two games. One of those games is at home and is also a conference game. If the men’s soccer team wants to end on a high note they have the perfect chance to do so.
“We want to make sure we stay builded as a team,” said Brown.
“We want to have a team that plays well and gets a new culture the seniors left with last year,” said Pipal.
On the other side the women’s soccer team of Bethany Lutheran is making strides late in the year. They won three of their last five.
They are looking to continue to build off last year’s success and their conference position in which they finished fith. Women’s head coach Derick Lyngholm thinks his team has built off of that success.
“The biggest thing is we returned most of the defense intact. Defense wins championships,” said Lyngholm.
This team prides themselves not only on offense, but on their defense and goaltending. They have shutout their opponent in three out of their last four wins outscoring them 9-0 in those games. Two of the three captains on the team, seniors Abigail Goss and Lindsey Stewart, have been an instrumental part in that.
“We have a good group of girls that are talented. Offensively and defensively we have been good,” said the girls.
One exciting win so far this year came against St. Scholastica on Oct. 15. The Vikings won the game 2-1 and became just the 3rd team since 2004 from the UMAC to beat St. Scholastica and was the first time in school history they won the game. The two captains shared their enthusiasm about the win.
“It seemed unreal at first. We went into it confidently and did what we were supposed to do,” said the girls.
Like the men, the women are looking to finish their season strong as they prepare for the UMAC Postseason Tournament in November. They are a solid 4-2-1 in conference and end the season playing Crown College at home, a game they won 5-0 earlier in the year.
“We have very good comradery and things match up really well,” said Lyngholm. “There are times where we’ve switched people, and they understand that and accept it.”
The teams look to finish on a strong note as they wrap up their seasons.