After beginning the season on Aug. 29, the men’s soccer team, after three games has yet to give up a goal. The three games include , , .
“With the new backfield coming in we had a lot of questions about how we would work together as a unit, but the time we spent in the preseason trying to get organized and working on our communication...I haven’t had to make to many big saves and we still have three shutouts so I think that speaks a lot to our defense and where its at and the communication and organization,” said before practice on Tuesday.
The team has some new faces on the defense contributing, which makes the streak all the more impressive as the Spartans had to replace several seasoned defenders and midfielders from last season, including former defender Kevin Cope and and former midfielder Brent McIntosh.
“We have a really defensive-minded team, from the forwards all the way back to me,” Bennett said. I think it starts with guys like and really setting the tone and pressuring their back-line, all the way back to guys like and .”
New faces for the Spartan defense this season include freshman defender , freshman defender and junior defender Zach Carroll, who transferred from Virginia.
“I think we’ve taken a lot of the same mindsets and game-plans from last year to this year and everybody’s staying focused and like I said, communicating a ton is key,” Bennett said. “As a whole we’re a defensive team, we’re going to work our butts off for 90 minutes and play hard defense no matter what position you play.”
Continuing the streak will certainly be a challenging feat, especially against a Valparaiso team that has beaten the Spartans in two consecutive years, but provided some keys that will help keep the streak alive.
“Everybody play’s their role, not giving up a ton of fouls so there’s no restarts, good goaltending, good team defending— and that starts with the forwards, the midfielders and the backs,” Rensing said before practice on Tuesday. “So it’s not just the defense or the goalkeeping. Those are big pieces, but it really starts with how we defend with all 11 players......this program thrives on being a good defensive team and they’ve really kept that going.”