Lopes undefeated in conference play, win first-ever SSC title
By: Julie Laugel/GCU Staff
“All things are possible if we all are committed and unified.”
That was the motto emulated by GCU Men’s Club Soccer in its 2019-20 season. Despite sporting many first-year players in the team’s inaugural year in the Southwest Soccer Conference, the Lopes earned the conference title, going 6-0-2 in SSC play.
“I would not have expected us to have this level of success with the newcomers that we had in their first season,” said GCU Men’s Club Soccer Head Coach Lance Thompson. “This group really unified and took on all challenges head-on with a positive attitude to ensure that the task was completed to its ultimate level of success.”
The Lopes started off the season winning six of their first seven games and ended the regular season with only one loss to California Polytechnic State University, SLO in the quarterfinals of the Aztec Cup.
“The leadership of Brandon Wishman and Matt Pierce was without question the underlying consistent theme to our success,” said Thompson. “Our leadership team did an outstanding job of holding everyone accountable to constantly play to a standard that was all agreed upon by the group at the beginning of the season.”
GCU’s victories in conference play earned them a bid to the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Region VI South Tournament . Unfortunately, their luck ran out here and for the second year in a row, GCU had three straight losses in pool play to eliminate them from the tournament and end their season with a 7-4-4 overall record.
Although the season did not end the way they wanted to, the Lopes had plenty to hold their heads high about.
“It’s always rewarding to have a group of athletes that have a clear and compelling vision and set standards that challenged them, yet at the same time were attainable,” said Thompson. “The future is bright for GCU Club Soccer, and I know the group is excited about constantly raising our standards.”
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