After defeating Loyola-Chicago this past Sunday, the men’s soccer team has moved to 3-1-1 on the season heading into their first conference game of the year against Maryland on Sept. 19.
The Spartans will need the other members of the team to step up while senior forward Adam Montague and senior forward Tim Kreutz sit out with injuries. According to head coach Damon Rensing, junior midfielder Jay Chapman is one of those guys, commenting on his performance after Sunday’s game.
“We needed a couple older veterans and leaders to step up and make a play, and that’s what Jay (Chapman) did today....It’d be nice to have Jay, and a few others back in there (at the same time),” Rensing said. “Jay (Chapman)‘s got some special qualities that you can’t teach ... he stepped up and showed some of those qualities.”
Rensing discussed that the team must still perform without Montague and Kreutz, mentioning the performances of those playing in their place.
“I thought Dewey (Lewis) did a good job up there, Blake gave us some good minutes,” said Rensing. “Who knows when we’re going to get those guys back (Montague and Kreutz) it could be a while, so we just have to keep working with what they’re doing, with what we have.”
The team will look to the chemistry of the midfield going forward with the injuries to Montague and Kreutz up top at the forward positions. With Chapman returning from injury and senior midfielder Fatai Alashe in the middle, it will make things easier for the guys filling in for injured players.
“My role on the team (is) to connect the defense to the forwards, it’s good to get in there with Fatai (Alashe), me and Fatai have a really good connection in there,” Chapman said.
The team has been stout defensively giving up only one goal in five games thus far. The offense hasn’t been quite as sharp though, being held to one or less goals in all but one game this year. The team has scored six goals on the season, but three of the six all came from the game against Florida International on Aug. 31.
“I think we continue to defend well, in five games we’ve given up one goal and it was actually offsides now that we’ve watched it,” Rensing said.
Going forward two of the team’s next three games will be conference games, against Maryland and against Ohio State on Oct. 4.
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