Men’s Soccer starts season

This season looks to be tough one for the Men’s Norse Soccer team. After coming off their turnaround season of 12-6-2 the Norse hope to improve on that record with the newly acquired depth to the team. One of the Norse’s main focus is to replace last years Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year goalkeeper Nate Madden. The Norse have four goalies battling for the job. With ten starters returning including two All-GLVC performers and six new recruit’s a main focus for this season is to try to stay healthy and keep everybody on the same page. “Hopefully the experience that we gained from getting beat-up last year and doing so well we can go off that,” Coach John Basalyga said. The Norse are ranked sixth in the preseason coaches poll in the GLVC. Coming off a 6-3-1 fifthplace finish in the GLVC last season. “The bottomline is that we have our two senior starters coming back this year David Lies and Randy Walters. They will be able to provide leadership on the field,” Basalyga said. Walters, a midfielder, finished last season with four goals and five assists. Lies, a defender, started every game last season and added two goals. Also returning are the All-GLVC performers Chris Thompson and Andy Bacon, both sophomores. Thompson, a forward, led the team last season with seven goals. Bacon, team captain and defender, helped anchor the Norse defense that allowed only 12 goals all season. The road to the NCAA tournament starts Aug. 27th vs. Lincoln Memorial in the John Toebben Classic. The Norse will take on two of the top three in the same week. They will face 2nd-ranked Wisconsin-Parkside, who they upset last season, on Sept. 23. On Sept. 25 they face 3rd-ranked Lewis, who they tied last season. On Oct. 14th the Norse will take on defending GLVC champion and national runner-up Southern Illinois at Edwardsville at home. Last season the Norse fell 2-1 in overtime. “Every match is key, our conference is a killer,” Basalyga said. “Last year our conference put three teams in the NCAA tournament,” he said. “You can lose three or four games and still make it into the tournament, that’s how strong our conference is.” “Everybody is beating everybody.”