By Arielle Gordon
The Tigers have their sights set on the SCAC championship.
Their 2–2 record might not show it, but the Colorado College men’s soccer team has a deep roster and high hopes for the season. They started off strong with two wins at home, one against No. 8 Luther College, but lost twice on the road this past weekend.
“The depth of our team is probably the main highlight and what’s different from previous years,” said forward Sam Bermingham ’20. “Our coach says we have 20 starters, not just 11, and that every player can play pretty much any position comfortably.”
CC was leading 1–0 against No. 10 ranked Kenyon College for the first 60 minutes, but gave up two goals in the span of 12 minutes, and fell to the Kenyon Lords 2–1. Forward Jackson Silverstien ’21 scored the lone goal, assisted by Bermingham. Goalkeeper Keller Mochel ’20 recorded five saves, including three in the second half.
“We came out really strong for the first 60 minutes, then we weren’t all mentally there and we coughed up two goals,” Bermingham said. “For our next game, I think we’re going to focus on trying to be there and play for all 90 minutes, and play our game.”
The Tigers also struggled against Ohio Wesleyan University, falling 4–1. Bermingham scored their only goal, assisted by forward Hayden Cogswell ’20. CC only posted eight shots, as opposed to the Bishops’ 22. Mochel had seven saves.
“Playing highly ranked teams at the beginning of the season has been a wake up call in many ways, as it has taught us that there isn’t much room for error,” Mochel said. “It has also shown us that we must hold ourselves to high expectations right from the start.”
In order to win the SCAC, the Tigers will likely need to beat Trinity University, the past SCAC championship team. Previously, the Tigers habe hoped to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament if they lost the SCAC, but often didn’t receive one because their schedule wasn’t deemed strong enough. This year, playing ranked teams should help their strength of schedule, hopefully boosting their chances of making the NCAA tournament, but also preparing them to face tougher opponents in the postseason.
Several of the seniors have also set personal goals for their final season. Bermingham wants to finish the season in the top three for team offensive statistics, including goals and assists. Mochel shut out Luther at home, and is looking to keep many other teams off the board as well.
“My personal goal is to have as many shut-outs as possible,” Mochel said. “Last year, the team tied the record for most consecutive shutouts and we were ranked 6th nationally for overall shut-outs, so this year the goal is to beat that.”
Head coach Scott Palguta motivates the Tigers by reading the team a letter that a former player wrote to the team before each game. Those intimate moments have reminded Bermingham how much the team means to everyone, and also how soon the seniors’ careers will be over.
“Playing at home is always special, so I think I’m most looking forward to being back on Washburn after a long weekend in Ohio,” Mochel said.
The Tigers will be at home this weekend to take on Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Rivals Centenary College at 7 p.m. on Sept. 13, and the University of St. Thomas at 12 p.m. on Sept. 15.