The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 53
Published 5/29/13 | Log In
No. 9 Falcons return home for two games this week
By JOHN HEDDLES, Staff Reporter
Published: October 10, 2012
Three years ago, a crop of young eager freshmen made their way into Interbay Stadium to take part in their very first collegiate soccer game as part of a storied Seattle Pacific program. Today, they stand on the field as senior leaders in one of the most exciting years for Falcons’ men soccer in over a decade.
“As a senior, you obviously know it’s your final year, and it just puts that much extra motivation to work hard and get results,” senior defender Kyle Smurdon said. “We’ve matured a lot this year, and I think we finally understand what we’re capable of if we stayed focused.”
The No. 9 nationally-ranked Falcons, led by 10 seniors, continued to put their experience to use in Saturday night’s 5-3 win at Saint Martin’s, which improved their overall record to 8-1-2.
Smurdon led the way offensively for SPU, scoring his first two goals of the season, including one with two and half minutes left to seal the win.
“I thought offensively we really showed up,” head coach Mark Collings said. “Obviously defensively there were some holes, but we scored at a steady pace, and a lot of guys contributed.”
“It always feels good to score in a game, and even better when your team is able to win that game,” Smurdon said. “We had some rough patches yesterday, but I think it shows a lot about our team in how we came from behind twice. It was especially important that we were able to score late and put the game to rest completely.”
The Falcons managed to come from behind twice in the victory and benefited from goals from the younger guys on the team, in addition to Smurdon, with freshman forward Ian Adams and freshman midfielder Matt Merchant both kicking balls into the net.
“Because there are so many seniors on the team, we all are trying to really work together in creating a good, competitive atmosphere for the new guys,” Smurdon said. “It also helps that the freshmen came in ready to compete, and it really shows from their contribution on the field. They’ve been great this season so far.”
Smurdon is one of 10 seniors on the Falcons’ roster this season.
Other notable members of this group include midfielder Christopher Morris and Seattle University transfer Kyle Peterman, who both have two goals on the season.
There is also goalkeeper Zach Johnson who has 18 saves and has held four teams to shutouts so far.
“What’s great about our seniors is that they’re so accessible to our freshmen and everyone in general,” Collings said. “Instead of breaking off on their own, they really try to help and connect with the younger guys, and that creates for a great atmosphere both on and off the field.”
With Saturday’s win, the Falcons moved to 4-1-2 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
However, they remained in third place in the conference standings, as both Simon Fraser and Northwest Nazarene won their respective games this past week.
With two wins in a row and a five-game road stretch now over, SPU will return to its home field this week to try to gain ground on their GNAC rivals.
“It’s exciting to finally be home for a little while,” Collings said. “I think we’re in a really good place as a team right now, and it will be nice to be back on our own field with our fans supporting us.”