Men’s Soccer goes 3-3 in first six games
Written by James Paxson, Sports Editor
The Men’s soccer team has compiled a 3-3, 2-1 overall record after the first six games of the season. This season’s squad is quite different then the 2015 squad who went to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division 1 National Tournament. The Ocelots lost their last season’s two captains Billy Werthman and Jon Quintana. Both Werthman and Quintana combined for 15 goals, 12 assists and a perfect two in two record in penalty kicks. Despite the loss of these two key leaders, sophomore forward Jacob Rosen has made it clear that the play is different from last year, but the ultimate goal is still make it to the National Tournament.
“The brand of soccer is different compared to last years. This year we have a lot of skill players, but we are trying to have every single person touch the ball.” said Rosen.
Focus on defense
On Wednesday Sept. 21 the Ocelots travelled to Jackson, Michigan to play Jackson College Jets in an early conference matchup. The game started off excellent for the Ocelots with freshman forward Michael Machila scoring an unassisted quick goal in the first two minutes. The team continued their strong defense till halftime allowing no goals in the first half and going to the second half 1-0.
The second half made the game closer with a penalty kick scored at the fifty-minute mark to tie the Ocelot, 1-1. With quality passing Schoolcraft hit the back of the net at the 61st minute mark as sophomore forward Felipe Lupion passed across the box to defensive freshmen Belal Khoulani to regain the lead 2-1.
A key player in the game was sophomore Goalkeeper Cameron Gwinn. Gwinn stopped six-out-of-seven shots that he faced to help keep the Ocelots lead. With the impressive second half the Ocelots held the lead till the end of the game to beat the Jets, 2-1.
“Were clicking as a defensive line and were all on the same page,” said Gwinn.
On Sept. 18 Schoolcraft headed down to Cincinnati, Ohio to play Cincinnati State Surge in the first of many tilts involving the two rivals. The Ocelot’s offense could not find any luck in the first half of the game scoring no goals and only getting five shots off. Cincinnati found the back of the Ocelots net at the end of the first half putting the Surge up, 1-0, after the first 45 minutes of play.
In the second half, Schoolcraft tried to fight back from a 2-0 deficit with a goal in the last ten minutes from Connor Rutz. Unfortunately, the Ocelots could not get a goal before the clock ran out, losing the first battle against Cincinnati State 2-1.
Schoolcraft hopes to continue improving with the team getting more familiar with themselves. Schoolcraft’s Coach Rick Larson sees the team becoming a better team in the last couple games.
“Overall connectivity is the goal. As connectivity to each other increase the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter and bigger,” said Coach Larson.
The Ocelots will play host to Jackson at home on Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. and then will head to Lakeland, Michigan to play Lakeland College on Oct. 7. For more information and a team schedule go to the MCCAA website at mccaa.org.