Eagles soccer looks to turn things around

Jacob Steinberg, IV Leader Sports Co-Editor

The IVCC Men’s Soccer team is nearing the home stretch of their 2018 campaign.

With a disappointing record of 0-8-1 at the midway point of the season, Coach Tim Cottingim has faith that the team can still remain competitive.

“I think they still can be competitive in every game,” said Cottingim. “Unfortunately, we suffered a lot of injuries at the beginning of the year to crucial players and had patches of bad play when we should have been better.

”Injuries to crucial players have been a common theme for the Eagles this season. Frank Gondwe, the sophomore midfielder from Manchester, England, was out with an injury for the first five games of the season. “He makes a big difference for us in terms of possession, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” said Cottingim.

A positive trend for the team has been the performance of the defense over the past few games. “The defense seems like it is solidified now,” added Cottingim. “We think we know what we are doing a little bit better now.”Although the defense is showing signs of promise, the big issue for the team is the lack of goal scoring. The team is averaging 1.25 goals per-game and have only scored 10 goals through eight games this season, half of which came from the Aug. 25 match against Milwaukee Area Technical College. “We need to find a way to create more scoring chances and finish them,” stated Cottingim.

Cottingim noted that every player on the roster has gotten a chance to start at least one game this season and have plenty of minutes on the pitch. However, he is not happy with the results and expects somebody to step up and score more.

A player who has been performing consistently for the Eagles this season has been Hunter Bannon. The freshman goalkeeper is among the regional leaders in saves with 36. “I think Hunter is playing pretty well,” stated Cottingim. “Unfortunately, in some of the early games, our defense let him down on several occasions and left him little chances to save the ball.” Cottingim hopes that his numbers will round out now that the defense is solidified.

Most of the team’s starters are returning sophomores who have also been playing a big chunk of the minutes. Cottingim is satisfied with their performance but urged that the team could always do better. “We need to keep pushing, keep striving to get better and hopefully find our way before the season’s out.”

As the season winds down, Cottingim is expecting more from his team before the regional tournament in October. “The main objective is to start getting results on a more regular basis and hopefully pile up some points in the standings.”