September 6, 2005
Iím back by popular demand to update you on this seasonís events, so I hope everyone is adequately rested and ready for another five months of intense soccer action. Enjoy the ride as I give you the updates and events in SMU menís soccer.
Preseason was different this year since we had an early exhibition tournament in Ohio. Two-a-days lasted only four days instead of the usual 7-10 days I had experienced freshman year. Everyone is anxious and excited to get the season underway having something to prove after the end of last season. The team has transformed multiple times since the end of last season, but change can be good and, although not easy to see at first, can have great outcomes in the future.
This year, I am accompanied by three other seniors - Duke Hashimoto, Mike Uremovich, and Kellan Zindel. With the leadership exerted by these senior players, we should have a tremendous season. Also with the help of Chasea Wileman, Mynor "Mono" Gonzalez, Jay Neejam, Dario D. Saintus, Scottie Corbin, Izzy Jones, Phil "Vice" Calderon, Tim "Gutti" McCrae, and Steve "A&F" Sandbo returning from last year's team should bring an additional boost to the season.
Our first two preseason games were this weekend against Notre Dame and Indiana University. It was a tough road trip, competing against #25 Notre Dame and defending champions Indiana University. Despite the unfortunate outcomes and the disappointing results, I believe we gained some valuable lessons. Obviously, it was not how we wanted the beginning of the season to start with a 4-1 and 4-0 loss to any opponent regardless of the rankings and titles. It was embarrassing and an eye-opener to say the least. However, we see it as a benchmark for SMU to play in order to win a national championship. From this weekend, we have learned something that practices and drills could not teach us. Without a doubt, we need to improve to play at that level with the #1 team in that nation. Can it be doneÖabsolutely. An athlete who I canít recall at this point stated that ďIf you get off to a bad start, donít worry. Itís the finish not the start that counts.Ē
We have two tournaments these next couple of weeks at home, Wescott Field, against West Virginia on Friday and University of South Florida on Sunday. We hope to get a lot of crowd support to kick off the season right at home.