Coaches: No Rest for Future Winners

Arthur Dowell, Web Editor

It may be a new soccer season, but both the men’s and women’s teams are playing as if they had not taken months off.

With a 6-2 record through month’s end, the men’s team is outscoring opponents 12 goals to 5.

Both teams finished the 2012 season in the NCAA tournament with disappointments – the men’s team lost in the first round and the women’s lost in the Final Four.

Both teams are now making strong pushes to be recognized both in the Mid Atlantic Conference (MAC) and in NCAA tournaments.

Coach Chuck Edkins has seen much success in his 23 years of coaching. Since entering the MAC five years ago, his team has won the Freedom Conference four times and made a berth into the NCAA Championships tourna- ment each of those four seasons.

Though the team has had great success in the regular season and MAC playoffs, players struggled getting out of the first round of the tournament. This fuels one of the team’s goals.

“We first want to make the postseason and grab a number one seed,” he said. “We then want to get beyond the first round of the championships.”

The men’s team was eliminated in the first round on penalty kicks last season .

The women’s team is off to a 6-1-1 record. The only loss came in a 1-0 game against Elizabethtown College. In a rematch from the Final Four game against Messiah College, the team managed to leave the game this season with a 1-1 tie.

The teams will start MAC com- petition on homecoming weekend starting Oct. 3.

Coach Mark Stauffer has just as much faith in this year’s team as he had in last season’s players. Stauffer is in his 13th season as head coach.

“I’m excited for this group of girls,” said Stauffer. “They have the ability to work together and achieve many of the teams goals, and I have a great time seeing it all develop.”

Neither of the coaches have changed their style – the game is the same every season, and their tasks change only to fit individual players.

The coaches say they take pride in working with every player according to personality, athleticism and specific strengths and weaknesses.

“The players buy into the team’s philosophy when they first come in as freshman,” said Edkins. “Once they become juniors and seniors, they become leaders and teach the younger players about the team’s philosophy in competing for all 90 minutes.”

Edkins and Stauffer say their teams are democracies.

The women’s team in particular plays by the system of six 15’s. The philosophy is meant for the break down into six sections consisting of 15 minutes.

The women’s team tried to take control of the game for 15 minutes by playing its best defense and taking shots on offense. If the team members are in rhythm, they attempt to keep it for the next 15 minute section. If they hit a skid, they attempt to get out of it in the next section.

This has helped the women’s team feel comfortable with their early season standing, according to Stauffer.

“If the team were to lose a few games in the future, we have quality wins against some great teams in our tough schedule and that will help us get in the (NCAA) bracket later in the season,” said Stauffer.

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