By Farris Willingham, Staff Writer
The men’s and women’s soccer teams began their season competing on different levels.
While the women’s team garnered four wins of five games, the men’s team suffered two losses and two ties, Coach Brian Harvey said.
“The boys lost to two teams that were nationally ranked,” he said.
Home games are a factor for the men’s team, Harvey said.
“It’s difficult to win on the road with referees, unfamiliar surroundings and the different grounds,” he said. “I think the boys just need a slice of luck to kick start their season off. “
The women’s team is starting off well, Harvey said.
“The girls are ranked 13th in the nation,” he said.
The freshmen already have acclimated to the team, Harvey said.
“I’m very pleased with the way our freshmen have adapted,” he said.
The teams will play in Sooner Athletic Conference games next month, Harvey said.
“I feel very good about both the boys’ and the girls’ program doing well in conference play,” he said. “The experiences the boys have had playing against these nationally ranked teams will stand them very well in their play.”
Junior Center Midfielder Ryan Hunter said the men’s team has potential.
“Due to how young we are, I think it will be more of a building year,” he said. “I think by the time playoffs come around, our team will be dangerous.”
Sophomore Center Back Dillon Byrd said they’re just having a slow start.
“We are a young team,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of people starting that did not start last year.
“Once we can find a rhythm, the wins will come. I see us going very far in competing for the conference championship.”
The girls had a good season last year, Harvey said.
“They won 19 games, lost three and got to the second round of the national tournament,” he said. “We would like to replicate what occurred last season, and we would like to go back to the national tournament.”
Sophomore Goalkeeper Alissa Reed said she enjoyed attending the national tournament.
“It was really awesome being able to say that we were top 16 in the nation and competing with a lot of really good teams,” she said. “Unfortunately, the conditions weren’t favorable, but it was a cool experience to see other teams play at a high level.”
The coaches predict the women’s team to take first in conference again, Reed said.
“We’ll hopefully make it to nationals again and make it past the second round,” she said.