Necks off to a good start on the season


File Photo

Ben Marrett a touch into space on the pitch.

Michael Harms , Courier Staff

MACOMB, Ill. — As a new semester dawns upon Western Illinois University a spark of hope rallies around the athletic fields. The men’s soccer team is hoping that spark ignites a fire of success in the upcoming season. After winning their last exhibition matches Western faces Quincy University Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Last season ended in disappointment with a final record of 5-10-1 and losing in the first round The Summit League Tournament. Along with the losing record Western lost Ben Fiddes, Armel Kouassi, Alejandro and Fernando Pacheco. Fiddes and the Pacheco brothers won All Summit League team honors and were core offensive pieces for the Leathernecks. Along with Kouassi, the Leathernecks lost alot of other key players in their lineup.

However, coach Eric Johnson continued to prove he can recruit overseas and brought in many promising recruits that will help fill the leaving gaps. Cesar Cosio from Illinois was named All American two years in a row and athlete of the year his junior year. From Canada Johnson brought in Arian Mehrang who played for St. Edmund Campion and was the second highest goal scorer on the time.

Along with new recruits the team must look to a load of sophomores to step up and become leaders for the leathernecks. Ben Marrett is a strong upcoming center back that started all 16 games last year. He hopes to have more than just three shutouts and help the backline be unstoppable. Another sophomore that needs to grab the torch and lead the team to victory is Paul Kirdoff. After having 20 shots and only 7 on target Kirdoff started the year right scoring one goal against Depaul University and hopes to gain a lot more this season. gold and help the leathernecks to a winning season.

With a spark of hope, the leathernecks look to turn it into a wildfire of success. For this season my goals for the team are to end right at .500 and improve their conference record from 3-2 to 4-1. Finally, the team needs to look for a win in The Summit League Conference tournament. This would help solidify Western’s place in conference as a top dog. Dr. Eric Johnson with his incredible winning record looks to lead Western to the top and this young core can help build a solid foundation here in Macomb that could last a few years. As a new year begins so does a new reign in men’s soccer.