Story by Samantha Bell, Sports Editor
Image courtesy of aqsaints.com
The start of a new academic year always signals the beginning of a new season for the Aquinas men’s soccer team, and they are out to show everyone what they’re made of this time around.
The team started the season by pulling off an upset; defeating #18 Olivet Nazarene University 1-0 courtesy of an Alex Mendez goal toward the beginning of the second half. In game two of the year against Clearly University, the Saints lost a hard-fought battle in overtime, 0-1.
Saint Xavier University was no match in the following game, however, as the Saints bounced back and took a 2-0 victory behind goals from Mendez and senior midfielder Jacob Bedi and a strong defensive performance by goaltender Theoren Collison.
They continued their winning ways on the road against Indiana Wesleyan University, earning a 1-0 victory. The loan goal came from junior Nic Ellingboe.
Next, the Saints made their way to Alma College and got themselves the victory, 2-0 as Mendez netted his third and fourth goals of the season and the team continued to show off their dominant defense.
As they returned to Grand Rapids, the Saints extended their winning streak as they came from behind to defeat the visiting Grace College Lancers, 3-2. Bedi led the way for the Saints, tallying two of the team’s three goals.
In their most recent matchup, the men traveled to Spring Arbor and took a loss against the #24 ranked Cougars, 5-0.
Thus far, the Saints have been dominant on the field, outscoring their opponents nine to eight. In their first seven games, they have also recorded four shutouts. This, in part, is due to the stellar play by some of the team’s younger players.
“When you come in as a freshman you don’t usually have much collegiate level experience,” Mendez said. “Throughout the games they just keep getting better and better. We have great players that came in and they are showing it when they play.” Mendez is confident the team will continue to play well throughout the rest of the season.
The Saints will play their next game on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 3 p.m. against the University of Northwestern Ohio at Aquinas for homecoming. Be sure to come out and cheer them on!