Men’s soccer face nationally ranked opponent in tournament setting
Fresh off the heels of their overtime victory against Rider University Monday night, Seton Hall’s Men’s Soccer team takes the week off from games to prep for this weekend’s upcoming Old Dominion Tournament.
Holding a 2-2 record for the season the Pirates look to test their skills against some top competition this weekend in No. 15 Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Old Dominion and VCU traditionally hold a strong soccer program. Going against these two teams has head coach Gerson Echeverry said he is interested to see how the Pirates stack up against tougher competition.
“These are two teams that are very strong. Over the last 10 years they’ve been ranked in the top 20 consistently. We open up with Old Dominion at home, and they’ve been preseason ranked as high as 7th in the country,” Echeverry said, “so it’s going to be a team that puts us to our limit. We’re lookingforward to seeing where we are at that elite level, to see how we stack up against them. Not only as players, but overall as a team and where it is our program is headed.”
After Friday’s game against Old Dominion the Pirates gear up for a Sunday match againstVCU, a team Echeverry believes plays a style that compliments Seton Hall’s in their favor.
With a record of 1-0-2, VCU looks off to a sluggish start but that’s not fooling Echeverry as he knows the team is very technically sound at what they do.
“Then we play VCU, which traditionally has been a very foreign based team, with a lot of German and African players that come to the program,” Echeverry said. “It’s a different style, a very technical style. Which I think also compliments the way we play.
The Pirates are going to need a solid weekend from the team’s leader in points, junior forward Max Garcia, who has already scored two goals and has five total points through four games this season.
“In the last few games we’ve had Max (Garcia) come up with some goals, create some penalties, and create a lot of havoc for us,” Echeverry said, “he was our team’s leading scorer last year. But at this point, with our record the way it is, I can’t say there’s one guy that we depend on. We have to depend on the team in general.”
Echeverry said he wants the team to focus on unity and team play this weekend. Something he said the team loses sight of at times.
“I just think defensively we need to be a lot more organized, we need to be tighter on defense and not give up silly goals,” Echeverry said. “We have to make the other teams earn them. If its 0-0 maybe our attackers don’t feel the pressure they have to score so much.”
Dennis Chambers can be reached at email@example.com