By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
On October 13, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Soccer team was slated to face off against conference rival Arizona State University, until a heavy downpour of rain forced a cancellation. This weekend, the Lopes proved that the unexpected week of rest had no effect on their play, as they beat ASU, 3-1.
With the cancellation of the first matchup, the Lopes faced an entire two week period without conference competition. For some, a break such as this can be a blessing, allowing athletes a chance to rest up and better prepare for a matchup. However, others would argue that an extended break can pave the way for a team to grow apathetic or lose their edge. According to Lopes Head Coach Lance Thompson, the second argument held little weight over his athletes.
“They came back off that two-week break really fresh and fit,” said Thompson. “That’s a really long time off when you think about it, but they all were eager to get back and compete, and it really showed on the field.”
For fans, a 3-1 final is a great indicator of just how well the Lopes played over the weekend. For Thompson, he’s more excited about what he saw on the sideline instead of on the scoreboard.
“As a coach, while you are watching the game, you always have thoughts running through your head about what each player should have done, or the way you want things to go,” explained Thompson. “This game was great, though, because I don’t think I second-guessed any of the decisions that my guys made. I don’t think it’s possible to play a perfect game, but they did a real great job executing the game plan, and playing as close to a perfect game as possible.”
For the Lopes, there is no greater time to begin playing their best soccer of the season-especially after such a key victory. With the win over the Sun Devils, GCU quite literally holds their own fate in their hands.
“In order for us to qualify for the Western Regionals, we have to win or tie our next match against ASU,” said Thompson. “And for ASU, they have to beat us if they want to make it in.”
While the Lopes might have had to wait an extra week for their first matchup against ASU, they won’t have to wait nearly as long this time around. The winner-take-all rematch has already been set for October 24 at Prescott Field on the GCU campus at 6 pm.
“We just have to focus on our own effort, and the execution of our roles and responsibilities,” said Thompson. “If we can do those things, then we expect that good things will happen and that the result at the end of the day will be in our favor.”
Interested in joining the men’s club soccer team? Contact the coach to learn more!