Western’s Drew Farnsworth (middle) and Hawaii Hilo’s Bryan Gonzalez battle for the ball during a match on September 11th, 2018. // Photo by Kelly Pearce
After an up-and-down 2017 season, the Western men's soccer team hopes to improve its record in 2018.
Last season, the Vikings finished in a tie for third in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, with a conference record six-game unbeaten streak at the beginning of the season.
The Vikings ended the season with a 5-4-3 conference record and an overall record of 6-6-5, missing the postseason.
The team did have five all-conference players: Anthony Dean and Tyler Visten on first-team, Luke Olney on the second-team and Georg Cholewa and Stephen Jinneman as honorable mentions. Dean was named to the United Soccer Coaches All West Region third-team and Drew Farnsworth and Visten collected GNAC player of the week awards.
Junior Christian Rotter thinks a younger team will bring a new style to the team’s play.
"This season we have a few new faces to replace some seniors that graduated, so the team dynamic will look a little different,” Rotter said. “New guys stepping into bigger roles and more guys getting a chance to show what they have."
Rotter said his goals for the team remain the same.
"My goals this season are to win the GNAC and get into the national tournament," he said. "I plan on stepping into a newer role in this team and, being an upperclassman, I want to be a leader on this team. I am going to be looking to contribute more in front of goal as well as helping build up play in the midfield."
“The main goals for the team are to consistently compete in every game and grow as a team,” head coach Greg Brisbon said.
Brisbon said no one is bigger than the program and to carry that out on the field is a must.
“Players need to want to work for each other, want to play for each other,” he said. They need to be in the best physical shape they can be and, overall, they need to have talent specific to their position/roles on the team.”
Brisbon said he is always excited to start the season, especially with the anticipation of the first non-conference game against Sonoma State University
The Vikings went on to beat Sonoma State on Aug. 30 in California. A golden goal on a penalty kick in overtime was the difference maker in the game as the men’s soccer team came out on top 4-3.
Western played Saint Martin's University on Thursday, Sept. 20, losing by a score of 3-1.
The Vikings next game was played after publication date on Saturday, Sept. 22.