Men’s soccer club builds toward improvement

Mens soccer club builds toward improvement

In an effort to travel from Seattle to Ellensburg, Wash., over the weekend of Nov. 2-4, the men’s club soccer team ran out of gas on the side of I-90 and had to be rescued by their teammate, Jacob Lightel.

The team competed this past weekend against Seattle University and Central Washington University, where they experienced more problems than just running out of gas.

“We only had two subs for the whole weekend. We played pretty well as a team, but we just didn’t have the energy to play that much,” junior R.J. Lytle said.

Even with a 1-6 record, the players see themselves as steadily improving. Lightel describes this season as a building year because the team has gained many new members.

Altogether, the club has 30 players who regularly attend practices. Tryouts were held at the beginning of the season in September to determine the 22 players who would make the official roster. Sophomore Matt Cole views the large number of players as beneficial for the club.

“We’ve got a full team of players who can play on the field week in and week out,” Cole said. “Then we’ve got another full team of players who can come take their spots when [the rostered players] are hurt or tired.”

With their fall season coming to a close, the athletes are now looking ahead toward the winter and spring. Although winter
season will give them some time off, Lightel has plans to keep playing.

“[I’m] hoping to get two nights a week in the Phase,” Lightel said.

He also wants to be sure his game is sharp year round by competing in Spokane soccer leagues.

When spring season comes around, Cole anticipates new openings for players because many of the current athletes will be graduating fall or winter quarter. Cole explains that the soccer club is very open and that those who put in the work can gain a permanent spot on the roster.

“The players who show up to practice and work hard usually work their way onto the field,” Cole said.

Despite spending every Tuesday and Thursday evening together practicing on the field, the athletes remain close off the field as
well. On Nov. 6, the men held a video game FIFA tournament, arranged and hosted by Cole.

“Everybody came over to my house, and we had two TVs going, two Xboxes, and two games of people competing for the FIFA trophy,” Cole said. “A lot of time is spent between the players outside of practice.”

Lightel agreed that the players are all very close knit. “We’re probably one of the closest teams I’ve been on in college.”