The serious business is about to start

The men’s soccer season goes into the final stage with daunting odds.

Luca Gronimus, Reporter

After a rough first half of the season, Hamline’s men’s soccer team has to fight in order to reach the highly competitive playoffs in their conference. 

Even though just one out of six competitive games has been a victory for the team, there are valid reasons to believe in a turn of results in the last four games of the season.

Currently in 10th place of the MIAC conference, the team is in an unfavorable position regarding the playoffs. A top six finish is required to enter the season’s finals. The results have to improve in order to achieve this goal. Having won three points out of 18 in the first six games of the season, entering the playoffs is going to be a difficult task, but not an impossible one.

One aspect that gives hope to achieve this goal is the chemistry within the team. “The atmosphere is pretty good, we treat each other like family and equally,” said sophomore Justin Zimmermann, a central defender. “I feel like we all get along really well and nobody feels excluded.”

Coach Alex Morawiecki agreed that teamwork is what makes the group strong. He refers to his team as “a great group with good leadership, the seniors did a great job keeping the group together.”

More arguments for a top six finish can be found on the field. Although the results so far have not matched the expectations, the team’s performance did. This is especially significant because new players joined the team and have had to find their place.

“We’re competing good and playing well,” Morawiecki said. “I think we are comfortable in a couple different formations now. The guys have improved, they’re doing really well and showing their strengths.”

One of the biggest strengths for the team is the quality of their attack and their ability to execute fast counterattacks. Coach Morawiecki credits that strength to both quality players and experience.

 “We’ve got some very explosive players with great pace in Adam King and Logan Weller and a really veteran core of players in the attack,” said Morawiecki

The lack of points so far also comes down to injuries of key players. “We’ve had a rough stretch in terms of being healthy,” the coach said.

Moreover, four of the six conference matches were away games, “basically for about a month we were on the road”, Morawiecki said. According to the coach, the aspect that has to improve now is taking the opportunities in front of goal. “We have to use the chances we create, we have to be dangerous in the box and we have to finish our chances.” 

The upcoming home games on Oct. 23, 26 and 29 are the perfect opportunity to use these chances and take a step towards the playoffs. These three matches at Paterson Field are crucial for the course of the season.