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Braves soccer kicking off year with high goals

By Casey Flowers
On September 14, 2010

The men's soccer team is kicking off the 2010 season with high expectations for the new year.

Last year they ended with a regular season record of 9-11-0 and finished third in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference for the second straight year.

So far, the men have started 1-4-0 this season.

Head men's soccer coach Bob Casper said the team has new assets that they were previously lacking.

"We have depth in the goalkeeper position which has been a problem in the past," he said.

Communication is a large factor of any sports team, and may be the key to the Braves success this season.

"We are talking a lot more out on the field," sophomore defender Keith Schwartz said.

Schwartz also said the team is closer and has better chemistry on the field.

They are able to work together and just enjoy playing soccer.

"My favorite part is playing with the guys," he said, "but it's also fun to be competitive."

Last season the Braves had a couple of tough losses that could have been won.

Casper said the games to catch this year will be against McPherson and Kansas Wesleyan University.

"We should have beaten McPherson last season, and feel that we owe KWU a loss too after our overtime loss in the tournament in 2009," he said.

Casper said the freshmen this year may make an impact in these games and he is closely watching how they perform in practice and scrimmages.

"Right now there appears to be three or four freshmen who are playing well. We will have to see how they progress as the season goes on," he said.

Freshman goalkeeper Drinnan Sante is enjoying playing for the Braves and is finding many differences between college and high school soccer.

"It is more serious, there is more running and much faster play," he said.

Sante is excited to play in regular season games, but claims to have no butterflies at all.

Right now he said he's calm and ready.

Casper said a good indicator of how the season will play out was the two pre-season scrimmages the Braves played against Neosho County Community College and Newman University.

After just three days of practice the Braves lost to Neosho 1-0. In the match against Newman they tied 3-3.

"We played with a very aggressive attitude and showed that we have the will to win," Casper said.

Casper said the Braves are pumped and ready for the regular season.

He said they are looking for a KCAC Championship.

Their next game is next Tuesday at 7 p.m. versus William Woods.

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