Men’s soccer starts fresh

Sophomore defender Black Wright takes control of a loose ball during the first half of the Aug. 31 game against the NSU Redmen.

Sophomore defender Black Wright takes control of a loose ball during the first half of the Aug. 31 game against the NSU Redmen.

T.J. Gerlach

Ending last season with a 2-14-3 overall record, the Missouri Southern men’s soccer team; is looking to start fresh this year.

“It’s last year; that’s as simple as it gets,” said Kiley Cirillo, head men’s soccer coach. “Today is a new day.”

Cirillo said this year he has a absolutely different team playing a different style of soccer.

“These guys are workers,” he said.

“I haven’t had a team work this hard for me since I’ve been here.”

Dushan Gorechan, sophomore forward, said this year’s team has good potential.

“This season, I think we have a deeper bench and a better combination of players to be able to score,” Gorechan said.

The Lions’ opened at home this year against Colorado State University-Pueblo. The Lions won 1-0.

Evan Keeling, sophomore forward, scored the lone goal in the 50th minute.

Drew Whitworth, sophomore midfielder, pulled off the assist.

Neil Stoessel, sophomore midfielder/forward, earned three shots, placing one frame. Whitworth and J.P. West, senior midfielder/forward, each had two shots with one on net.

Junior goalkeeper Travis Haight grabbed eight saves against CSUP.

On Aug. 28, Southern traveled to Springfield to play Drury University.

DU took the match 1-0 in double overtime. The only goal was the result of a penalty kick.

In the match, Haight nabbed 12 saves.

The Lions returned to Hal Bodon Field Aug. 31 to play the Northeastern (Okla.) State University Redmen.

NSU defeated the Lions 2-1.

Stoessel scored Southern’s lone goal off in the eighth minute.

Patrick Kelley, junior defender, earned the assist

The Redmen answered with goals in the 44th and 58th minutes.

Haight would earn 12 saves on the night.

West and freshman midfielder Austin Whiles both had three shots and placed two on goal.

Stoessel also had three shots with one on goal.

Keeling would also earn two shots, with one on frame.

“We gave up the ball on a lot of unforced errors,” Cirillo said.

“If you can’t possess the ball you’re going to have a hard time keeping the flow of the game going.”

He said the loss is not going to stop the team.

“We’re playing a lot better ball compared to last year,” Cirillo said.

Jacob Plocher, sophomore defender/midfielder, said the Lions have a lot of talent, but they haven’t clicked yet.

“I think that once we get things clicking on all cylinders, we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” Plocher said.

The Lions’ next game is Saturday versus Rockhurst University. The two will meet in Rolla.