Sawyer Strelnieks – staff writer
School is in full swing and so are the fall sports.
For the Dordt men’s soccer team, it’s a lot more than playing for the wins, it’s about the relationships and roles on the team. VJ Hachaba, senior captain, says this is a unique season compared to his last three seasons at Dordt. It is a fairly young team this year, as a majority of the team is made up of sophomores and juniors. Currently the team is playing different combinations of players to see who plays well together. The men’s team has been tested early with their games against Benedictine, Waldorf and Johnson and Wales.
“We have some wrinkles we’re ironing out and we’re looking better and better with possession in each game,” senior captain Stephen Brinkerhoff said.
By playing these teams early it has helped the team establish roles and build a strong offense and defense. There is a lot of competition on the team this year which has led to a hungry team ready to win games. Having players out on the field who give their all to earn a spot on the team is the kind of determination that coaches look for. Having an entire team with that kind of competition can be unstoppable when everything comes together.
“I believe our team is more cohesive than in the past few years of playing at Dordt,” Brinkerhoff said. “We have developed better chemistry and everyone seems to be on the same page.”
In previous years, Dordt’s offense revolved around one player. This year, the team is reconfiguring the structure of the offense to try to be more creative and diverse. By playing different combinations of players, the men’s team is hoping to develop chemistry throughout and play together as one unit. This is the most crucial step of building a team that turns those close losses to easy wins.
Now seven games into the season, the men’s team has found the right combination of guys who will be playing and everyone on the team understands their role.
The highlight of the season so far, according to Brinkerhoff, was when Dordt won in overtime versus Southwestern College in Colorado. The game was tied at 0 going into overtime when Colton Schreur played a ball into the middle near the goal which ricocheted into the goal only forty seconds into overtime.
The team is working on “fine tuning” during the early weeks of the season to prepare for important conference games coming up. Their first conference matchup is at home versus Hastings on Sep. 23 at 3:15 p.m. The goal for this year’s team is to be in the top half of the GPAC.