The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Published 5/29/13 | Log In
Published: October 3, 2012
For the Seattle Pacific men’s soccer team, 2012 is looking a lot like 1993.
After a full month of play so far in this year’s season, the Falcons look poised to make a run for their first national championship since that year’s squad.
SPU went into this past week ranked No. 3 overall among NCAA Division II schools, after spending the previous two weeks prior at No. 2.
They suffered their first loss of the season on Thursday night at Great Northwest Athletic Conference powerhouse Simon Fraser, with a 5-1 defeat in Burnaby, B.C. The team, which is now ranked No. 12, bounced back Saturday night in Bellingham, needing only one goal in a 1-0 victory over GNAC rival Western Washington.
Now standing at a record of 7-1-2 and 3-1-2 in the GNAC, the Falcons now sit alone in third place in the conference standings.
After exploding to a 6-0 start, the program’s best in 21 years, the team lost some momentum after a pair of ties at Northwest Nazarene and Montana State.
“We try not to get too caught up in momentum, especially in our conference because I feel like any team can beat another team on any given day,” junior forward and Falcon newspaper business manager Blaine Carver said. “It really just depends on who’s having a good game and who’s having an off-day.”
Propelled by their torrid opening to the season, SPU was named No. 2 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s (NSCAA) NCAA Division II poll on Sept.10, their highest ranking since a No.1 stint in September of 1994.
“The high ranking is good for the team as far as for recruiting and for the fans, but as far as a team, we try not to get too caught up in that,” Carver said. “Obviously, we don’t want our heads to get too big.”
Despite all the success the Falcons have achieved so far this season, the results over the last two weeks have shown that there are still areas the team needs to strengthen and develop. Among them is coming out of the gate stronger each game.
“I think we need to step up our first-half intensity,” Carver said. “I feel it’s really been lacking the last five or six games. We’ve been steeping up in the second half, but our first halves have been pretty lacking, so that’s something we can improve on for sure.”
SPU will look to continue in a winning direction Saturday night at conference foe Saint Martin’s in Lacey. The game will mark the end of a five-game road trip, and a victory will solidify the team in its quest towards recreating the magic of 1993.
“I definitely think we have what it takes to win it all,” Carver said. “Obviously we’ll have to have a lot of different factors going in our favor, but I do think if we keep playing like we have we’ll have a shot.”
By JON HEDDLES