In his 17th year of coaching the MSU soccer team, Doug Elder is excited about a new group merging with some of his older, more experienced Mustangs. He hopes they’ll be able to fill some gaping holes after finishing last season with only one loss, coming in the third round of the NCAA DII tournament.
After losing five starters, including in Albert Rodriguez, who scored a team best 17 goals last season, the Midwestern State Men’s Soccer team adds ten new faces this year.
“I think the biggest challenge is going to be scoring, it’s going to be finishing. We lost one of the best players in the nation last year in Albert Rodriguez. So we’re going to have a lot of slack to pick up for,” says senior midfielder, Leon Taylor.
“We know our work’s cut out for us. Even though we only lost five starters, that’s half of your team, so we’ve got a lot of new players, and on the bright side, Friday night, four new kids scored a goal, so we’re excited, it should be a fun year for some of these new guys, especially to blend in with some of our returners,” adds Elder.
“We’re all fitting together real well right now. We’re just trying to show them the Midwestern way, and what we do here and what we’re about here.”
Head Coach Doug Elder is excited about the depth returning at forward. He’s also looking for big things from newcomer Jorge DeLeon.
“His name’s Jorge, but we call him George, actually we call him “Wormy” because he’s crafty up front.”
As for scoring? Midfielder Leon Taylor believes there are plenty of returners at forward and midfield who can get the job done, “Flavio as everybody knows, hopefully I can add some in there as well, Gaby, and Christian. Christian I’m really expecting big things out of him. It’s Christian’s senior year, too and he’s a definitely a big name that you’ll here.”
Leading a defense that only allowed 18 goals in 19 games is returner Alex Mullet…joining him is Jordan Speed, who comes from the University of Tulsa, and who is expected to make an immediate impact.
All four keepers return for the Mustangs. Elder says, “All four are competing really well. I think Noah and Brice got the most time last year, so they probably have a little edge on the experience. We red-shirted Taylor Lampee, and Taylor is going to be a very good keeper. He’s still a little bit raw, he still makes a few mental decisions…He’s going to be the future of our team in goal. Noah and Brice and Goss have been here two years or more, so it works out having them compete and hopefully one will rise to the top and be our starter.”
Coach Elder is entering his 17th year of coaching, but he says he’s got a few more in him.