Written by Carissa Lucas
The men’s soccer team made history two weeks ago when they moved up to #7 in the nation on the NSCAA/HendricksCars.com Top 25 National Poll, but the victory was short lived when a loss dropped the men from #7 to #24 in one weekend.
The Cru men are currently 5-2 for the season, and 2-2 in American Southwest Conference play.
Brad Bankhead, the men’s soccer coach for the last five seasons, and the ASC’s Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2009 believes his team is a good team, but concedes the rest of the season will tell him a lot.
“We don’t know if this team is a special team yet. I think it’s still early,” Bankhead said. “I think if you ask me that in two months …. I could give you a better answer.”
Despite the rise and fall of the rankings the team maintains its attitude. The Cru’s goal, Bankhead says is to be “a national contender.”
Senior Christian studies major and goalkeeper Mark Miller, credits the early season successes to the players of the past.
“The (#7) ranking had a lot to do with how we played last season,”Miller said.
The Cru was ranked in the top 25 for several weeks last season.
However, the early successes of the year could not prepare the men for the road blocks they would hit.
Senior history major Benjamin Allen, tries to keep a positive attitude despite the bumps in the road.
“Obviously the team is disappointed, but rankings mean nothing right now,” Allen said. “It’s a long season, and there are a lot of games left.”
Adam Cecil, a junior goalkeeper for the Cru learned from the losses.
“Falling from #7 to #24 was tough for us,” he said. “I think overall it was a humbling experience that showed us the importance of taking every game seriously and playing hard the full 90 minutes.”
The Cru went into a weekend of ASC matches and came out 1-1 for the weekend with U.T.-Tyler handing the Cru their second loss on Friday. The men rallied back with an overtime victory against Concordia University on Saturday.
Bo Baker, a mid center for the Cru, tries not to focus too much on the rankings and instead chooses to look forward to the rest of the season. He said the team needs to “maintain our attitude and make sure we get better as the season goes on.”
“As of right now we have to continue to do what we have been doing,” Baker said. “We have to look past the ranking and work to be better. We will not settle until we are first in the nation.”