With less than two weeks before their opening weekend, the Trinity men’s soccer team has to work quickly. Their two opening games are against tough competitors, and the Tigers want to come out strong.

The players arrived on campus on Friday, Aug. 15, and began training Saturday, Aug. 16.

“The first day was pretty hard, but after the second day it’s been pretty good. We had our first session with the first years Monday; we had been practicing separately before, ” said Zach Edholm,  sophomore soccer player.

The men’s soccer team added approximately 20 first years this season, and the team has high hopes for the new class.

“The team looks really good. We are extremely excited about the first years; there is a lot of promising talent there. Several of our returning upperclassman team leaders have come in very strong as well, ” said Edward Cartee, assistant coach.

Chemistry and integration are especially important for the Tigers because of the large numbers of first years, in addition to the loss of last season’s seniors.

“Last year, we graduated nine seniors, and they were all contributors so it was a huge loss, but we brought in a large first-year class and they look like they are going to be able to help us,” Cartee said.

So far, everything has gone well and the team is getting along well according to players.

“We hang out outside the field and on the field a lot, which helps make the chemistry good,” said Victor Araujo, a junior midfielder.

“It is hard to tell how team [chemistry] is on field, but they all get along great off the field with their personalities and everything,” Cartee said. “We are quite pleased with the character and personality of the group. Every one of them individually is a stand-up guy.”

The team is looking forward to a successful season. Last year, the Tigers won the SCAC Championship only to be eliminated during the Elite Eight round of the DIII National Tournament, when they lost to Loras College (Iowa) 2-1.

“Our goal is to win as many games as we can. We have a pretty good squad this year. The incoming players are all pretty good and they all came fit which is very, very important. I think we can win the national championship,” Araujo said.

The first game for the Tigers is 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, at home against the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.). Last year, St. Scholastica had the top-ranked offense in the country; Trinity held the No. 1 spot.

Next they play against Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) at 7 p.m on Sunday, Aug. 31, at home.