The Midwestern State men’s soccer team has already accomplished a lot in this 2018 season snagging their third straight Heartland Conference championship and posting a 16-1-2 record heading in to the NCAA Tournament… but the Mustangs are not satisfied.
MSU made it all the way to the National Quarterfinals last season falling to Cal Poly Pomona in penalty kicks… a loss leaving the Mustangs hungry.
Taylor Lampe, said “You know had that devastating loss in penalty kicks in the elite eight you know kinda sucks, but you know its that chip on our shoulder and we need to prove ourselves that we’re better than what happened last year.”
The Mustangs are focusing on the present challenge.. taking on Colorado Mesa in the second round of the tournament.. The Mavericks and Mustangs are far from being strangers.
Last season MSU defeated Mesa 3-0 knocking them out of the tournament for the third year in a row…
Michael Meachum, said “In 16′ arguably they were better than us and we just kinda snuck one out late in the like 88th minute and we got them and kinda 15′ and 17′ we’ve had some good groups and we were able to get them. But they’ll be an athletic team they’ve got a handful of seniors that are very good that are returning that have played against us for a lot of years so we’re familiar with them, they’re familiar with us.”
Rory O’Keefe said, “I think the best players play well in the best occasions, and I know our team is good enough so I think were all going to rise to it and it’s just another game for us you know.. We feel we’re the best team in the country so we’re not worried about anyone else, and we wont be nervous.. They should be nervous for us.”
In his first year as head coach, Michael Meachum received Heartland Conference Coach of the Year honors… after leading the Mustangs to sixth in the national rankings.
Koby Sapon-Amoah said, “We’re on the field and we grind everyday.. Meach runs us enough to be number six I feel like… I feel like we run top ten in the nation so.. everyday. It’s not just running. We’re working everyday we’re in the weight room everyday. We’re on the field. We’re stretching. We’re training everyday. There’s no days off, and that’s like for real. There are no days off, and that’s the difference between being the best and just being good.”
In the days leading up to the tournament.. the Mustangs are back at work…because from this point on… It is win or go home.
Taylor Lampe said, “I mean were only guaranteed ninety minutes for sure now, and just going in with a confident mindset, because they’re coming to play us at our place and its been three years since they’ve beat us so its going in there and playing our own game rather than playing at other peoples levels, so if we play our game I think we will come out with a win.”
Rory O’Keefe said, “Just like rest the body, rest the mind, because it’s a big game, big occasion especially going down the stretch you know.. bigger teams, bigger games so we really go to get our bodies and minds right first before we start thinking about anything soccer related.”
This already successful team is not done just yet… the Mustangs have their eyes set on five more wins…..and a National Championship.