By: Chase Gardiner/GCU Staff
Following a successful two-game road trip last weekend, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Club Soccer team faced their biggest challenge of their season thus far, but couldn’t sustain their momentum in a 6-1 loss.
The Wildcats managed to score the first goal of the day to open up a quick lead. The Lopes tied the score off a free kick, but that proved to be their final score of the match. With an impressive combination of potent offense and effective defense, U of A posted five unanswered goals to run away with the match.
Despite the unsavory result, Lopes Head Coach Lance Thompson felt the final didn’t accurately tell the whole story.
“At the end of the day, the game wasn’t as bad as the score would indicate,” said Thompson. “We gave up goals off some bizarre possessions, such as a goal keeper punt and a ricochet shot off of the goal. When you combine that with the struggles we had understanding our roles and responsibilities, it really impacted our overall execution and ultimately the outcome.”
Thompson acknowledged that the largest concern for his team remained in their execution on the field. Of course, problems such as these can be expected for a team like the Lopes, which Thompson described as “almost entirely new.”
“We all needed a game like this in order to show us what things we have to work on, and what needs to be fixed,” said Thompson. “Not only is U of A the defending NIRSA Champs, but they also have at least 20 returning players, and you could tell that they were really prepared to capitalize on our mistakes. There’s nothing like playing a team that already has their house in order to show us what we have that is out of place.”
Hopefully these lessons will be easy to learn as the men’s team has a quick turnaround to prepare for. The Lopes head to San Diego, California, to face California State University-Bakersfield in the opening round of the annual Aztec Cup.
“I feel really good about the team, and I’m sure that they will bounce back over the weekend,” said Thompson. “This will be a really good time for us to face some good competition, while also just working on our own game.”
Interested in joining the men’s soccer team? Contact the coach to learn more!