Prospects bright for Milligan soccer team

from staff reports
A new school year also brings a new soccer season to the Milligan College community.
The men's program arrived on campus Friday, Aug. 9 to undergo rigorous preseason training and practice.
Head coach Marty Shirley talked about the team and his thoughts on the 2003 soccer season. He spoke about the goals the team has set and what he would like to achieve this year.
"I want us to be men of integrity," Shirley said. "I would like our team to be a light to those who don't know Christ. Serving the Lord comes first in all Milligan athletics. It shows in their attitudes and play.
"Of course, we also would like a shot at the regional and national tournaments."
Team leadership already has shined during preseason. Junior Stephen Townely and senior Brian Okumu lead the team as captains with the goal of creating a more defined and unified team than in past years.
The biggest tactical problem facing the team this year is depth.
"We are very thin on defense, and defense wins matches," Shirley said. "Adding two new goalkeepers to the roster this year is going to create a more solid defense."
Milligan tied Mars Hill 0-0 on Saturday in a very defensive mode scrimmage.
"Any scrimmage can be viewed as an opportunity to look at different players, systems and plays," Shirley said.
Added sophomore and starting defender Justin Ruetz, who was given the MVP of the scrimmage match: "The defense really stepped it up and came through for the team."
The men's team last year finished above .500, but lost in the first round of the conference tourament.
"I plan for us to win them all (this year)," Shirley said. "Realistically, I look for us to be way above .500."
The season looks optimistic. A very solid midfield and a strong recruiting class for the Buffaloes edge them above last year's team.
The Buffaloes will travel to Division 1 Gardner-Webb University for their season opener, set for today at 4 p.m.