This weekend marks the beginning of the season for the men’s soccer team. With two games scheduled this weekend — Aug. 29 against SMU and Aug. 31 against Florida International — the team will have a busy weekend.
Despite two games this weekend, the team’s current focus is SMU. Despite SMU’s 3-12-2 record in the 2013 season, MSU will not look ahead of the Mustangs.
“You know what happens is, we’re preparing the guys for SMU and SMU only on Friday.” Head Coach Damon Rensing said on Tuesday before practice. “Behind the scenes the staff will continue to prepare for FIU, but we don’t want the players thinking about anything but SMU Friday night.”
On Sunday, the team will play their second game of the season just two days after the season opener against a Florida International team that went 6-10-1 last season.
Rensing suggested that while preparation for every game is necessary, the team needs to focus on themselves in the coming weeks, working out the kinks and learning what each other’s strengths and weaknesses are.
“Quite honestly, we’re just focusing a lot on ourselves,” said Rensing. “This early in the season it’s really about what we do well and our weaknesses we need to work on as opposed to what the other teams are doing.
“I think we’re pretty prepared — we have a good core of returning guys and that allows us to be a little more prepared than maybe other teams who are bringing in a ton of different new faces. But we do have some new faces and were working on trying to incorporate them.”
Chemistry should come quickly as the team has an excellent core of returning players and some freshmen that have started making names for themselves.
“I think we’ve got some good returning guys...Fatai Alashe, Adam Montague and Tim Kreutz up top,” Rensing said. “Jay Chapman’s a preseason All-American so he’s a big one. I think you know there’s some freshmen that have come on and did well — there’s Ken Krolicki ... Fiscus, and Centala have done well in the back line so there’s a group of guys that may emerge. We’ll see.” all names checked
MSU plays SMU on Aug. 29 at 5 p.m. and FIU on Aug. 31 at noon. Both games will be at DeMartin Soccer Stadium and free to students.