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Screaming and Kicking

The men’s and women’s soccer teams have more energy coming into this season than Phil Weston on coffee. Beloit might as well be Scranton because electricity is in the air. The women’s team is already shocking the competition. 

Being 3-0-2 that leaves them as the only team left in their conference that is undefeated. They had a tough matchup against Nebraska Wesleyan but they came out the victors, 2-0. However, not even Mike Ditka could do a better job coaching this team. Multiple interviews with women on the team indicate his coaching has propelled them to new heights this season. 

Head Coach Connor McKee in his second season, after having last year taken away by COVID, he isn’t leaving anything up for chance. Having the training camps be more rigorous than past years. Also, having the girls practice constantly; all for that sweet goal of winning the Midwest. He couldn’t do it without the solid players on his squad. 

The team doesn’t have a Byong Sun but they do have many stand out players. Senior leader Makenna Downing’22 has three goals on the season already, being a leader on and off the field. The team this year has also preached playing as one, and this is emulated by sophomore Alayna Furch’24 who has the most assists with three. Another player to highlight is junior goalie Audrey Ketterer’23 who has had almost an impeccable season only giving up one goal in 184 minutes of play. 

The goalkeeper has been a tandem this year and I spoke to sophomore Briana Arteaga’24 who reiterated the team’s goals this year many times. When I first asked her about the season Arteaga said  “Coach is hard on us but for good reason. ” She continued on to say “We have worked our butts off to be in this position.” That position being one of the stronger teams going into conference.  She also stated that the season has been “fricking awesome!” How could you not be jazzed for this team!

And with a leader at the helm more equipped then Mike Ditka to handle it, and a team chemistry higher then Michael Scott’s sales record these ladies are a team to watch out for. 

The men’s team is coming off a tough loss to Rockford losing 4-0, that drops them to 2-2-1. This is after their second canceled game of the season. The team could be angry like a large tornado of anger. But they haven’t been, they stuck together and kept morale high.

What has kept it high? Coffee has not been the moral booster, and there are no two transfers from Italy coming. I sat down and spoke with senior Deji Agunbiade’22 to get to the bottom of this energy and how they are  sticking to their morals. 

This dedication has been because of the potential they have seen out of their players. Deji, specifically singling out Brock Bidwell’24 and underclassmen defenders Aiden Evertt’24 and Brendan Drager’25. All three of those players playing big minutes as first years and second years. 

Getting Andrew Marchesi’22 back in the lineup is a huge addition for this young Bucs team. Marchesi, the senior, was the leading scorer two years ago. Adds another senior to this lineup to add even more leadership. Having him back throws another weapon into first year head coach Brad Williams. 

Williams, the former goalkeeper, really brings the energy and the excitement to the team. Bringing in his new formation in a 4-3-3 has gotten the team excited. The drills and practices are more professional, as the new coach has played at professional level, while also coaching division one as well. The coach is provocative, he gets the people going, and is getting this program to new heights. 

As both teams prepared for the tough conference matchups ahead, they both had a message for the fans. Thank you for coming and keeping it up! In every interview I had for this article they each loved the crowds that came and the energy they brought. The Bucs are about to set sail. The only question is are you on board? 

 

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