Trinity Men’s Soccer springing into action

A look into what our men’s soccer team is doing in their offseason

While most students are focused on the good weather, summer plans or baseball season, our Trinity Tigers’ men’s soccer team is going back to the drawing board as they prepare for next fall’s season. Ending the 2021 season with an impressive 16-1-2 record, the Tigers are looking to start next year with a bang.

The fall season was a huge success, with the team remaining undefeated but coming just short in the SCAC championship game. A tough 1-0 loss to scrappy St. Thomas last November left the Tigers with unfinished business going into the NCAA tournament. They traveled to Washington to face Pacific Lutheran but fell short by the smallest margins in a penalty shootout. Left with a slightly bitter taste in their mouths, the Tigers are working harder than ever to prepare for next fall.

Hunter Cain, a first-year from Katy, Texas, proved to be a valuable addition to the crew. He earned all-SCAC First Team honors last season with an impressive 8 goals and 7 assists.

When asked about the spring season, Cain said “It’s mostly been intensity in practice. To be honest, I think everybody’s ready to go. We’ve been waiting a while since our season ended and so everyone’s buzzing to get back on the field.”

Practices are being held Tuesday through Friday, and the Tigers are fueling their seemingly insatiable hunger by competing against each other day in and day out. Will Powell, a first-year defender who came in from the United Kingdom, spoke about the team values that are in the spotlight this offseason.

“Our mentality this spring is very simple. Everyone works hard and gives 110% all the time,” said Powell.

With a rigorous academic spring schedule, first-year roommates Hayden Fetzer and Powell are finding out how to manage their time and schedules as they strive for success not only as athletes but as student-athletes.

“Both of us are STEM majors and have very heavy workloads so it helps that we keep each other accountable for doing all of our work on time. We go to the library together a lot,” said Fetzer. Each teammate pushes each other in the classroom and on the field.

“Everyone is going at it against each other and it makes for a better environment to improve when everybody is working with intensity,” Cain said.

The team has a well-rounded weekly routine that incorporates gym workouts in the Bell Center, team practices, and 11 versus 11 scrimmages at the end of the week. Each player works hard to keep everyone accountable, from the freshmen all the way up to the seniors.

“We want to do the best that we can, especially coming off our disappointing loss in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. We are all holding each other accountable for what we do,” said Powell.

This passion and desire to push each other is a unique driving force in these times, as the Tigers prepare for some tough spring games against St. Mary’s University and our next-door neighbors, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). Both of these games are occurring this coming Saturday, March 26, in double-header style. It will be Family Weekend at Paul McGinlay Stadium, and a home environment with lots of support against these tough opponents will be a great opportunity for Trinity.

A rematch against a tough D1 team is a recipe for an entertaining game, as the Tigers hope to get a good result against a quality opponent. The Tigers faced the Cardinals last fall, with the final score being a close 3-2 loss. Now, with a successful fall season under their belts, our Tigers are hoping for a win.

“We were able to play them as our first game of last season, so I think it’d be nice to see a fresh squad that’s been playing for a while go up against them, and see if we get a different result,” Cain said.

After a full season together, the rising sophomores, juniors and seniors are beginning to look like a well-oiled machine.

“People are getting more comfortable in their roles. Everybody who is shifting classes is taking on more responsibility, as our freshman group prepares to come together and welcome a new class,” said Cain.

Senior captains Brady Johnston and Jacob Galan prepare to graduate, meaning the dynamic of the team will be shifting. Age does not define leadership, according to our freshmen, who seem confident and ready to grow into their new positions.

“Seeing other people around our age taking on more responsibilities and leadership makes me excited for the coming years because it’s not just about the seniors being leaders, it starts with the entire team becoming leaders together,” said Fetzer.

With leadership roles changing and competitive practices almost every day, the future looks bright for our Tigers. The tides are turning, and the class of 2025 is no longer fresh meat. As the spring turns into summer, the Tigers seem more ready than ever to work as hard as they can to be ready by next August.

“I’m excited to welcome the next class of players. The transition for us was very easy with the help of the seniors. They always welcomed us no matter what, and we will continue that next year,” said Fetzer.

The future for our Tigers remains to be seen, but with a combination of passion, intensity, and bright stars all over the pitch, it’s hard not to be excited to see what the future holds for our team.