Plagued Spartans Take a Tumble
The Spartans mens soccer club’s issues continue as they finished off the weekend with a 0-0 draw with the Alberta Golden Bears and a 1-3 loss against the Saskatchewan Huskies at home. The Spartans now sit in last place with a 1-6-1 record. They have lost six of their last seven games and have scored only seven goals within the course of the season. With these awful statistics thus far, key issues need to be addressed.
“I think after we scored our first goal and they tied it up we just stopped playing,” said Spartans head coach Pat Rohla, commenting on Saturday’s loss. “We got a little tentative, which is not a good sign for a coach to watch. We need guys that want to seize the moment.”
‘Tentative’ is the correct term for this team, as they did not seem to have the confidence to make the key plays this past weekend. ‘Uncoordinated’ is probably another term to describe this team, as the Spartans haven’t had both their offense and defense working at the same time.
The Spartans played well defensively on Friday, especially goalkeeper Andrew Hicks who made a couple of amazing saves. However, when they were strong in the back end they couldn’t capitalize on some good chances to score.
On Saturday, the Spartans were finally able to capitalize against the Huskies with a beautiful goal by Jarvis Ambaka. That was until Saskatchewan tied the game and began to break down the Spartans defense, adding the winning goal and a helper. The Spartans were unable to create quality chances beyond that.
“We always refer to critical moment plays,” Rohla said. “We let a couple get away in the first half where we probably could have scored another one.”
Luck has not been on the Spartans’ side. Key injuries have set the team way back. It was a promising lineup we saw before the season began until the Spartans were hit by the injury bug.
“It’s just eroded from us, six to eight injuries,” Rohla said. “Four of them are up for surgery so they’re done for the year. So, it’s just a matter of us finding ways to be competitive.”
The Spartans have had no luck on their side as injuries have plagued the team. Jonah Reinhart, Brayden Gant, Dominic Reinold, and Even Lowther – just to name a few – have all paid their visit to the rehabilitation clinic this season.
Despite the injuries, this team is capable of pulling off a win. The Spartans just need to gain the confidence and have both their offense and defense working at the same time. “We thought we played well enough to get a win,” Rohla stated, “but I don't think we carried that momentum forward.”
The Spartans have a wonderful opportunity to get back in the win column next week. They will play Mount Royal on October 11, and Winnipeg on October 12. Both games are at home and both teams are not as challenging as Alberta and Saskatchewan. However, the Spartans need to find their game again before they put up a ‘W’.