The FSC Men’s soccer team has a new mentality coming into the 2013 season.
After a rough finish last year the men have their minds set on one thing: winning. Under new head coach, Ryan Sniegoski, the men look to make a statement and take down some of the top teams in the conference.
“My mission was to change the culture here, change it to a winning culture,” Sniegoski said. “The guys weren’t used to winning games, so that was my main goal.”
Sniegoski began recruiting as many hard-working soccer players as he could during the summer.
The former Old Dominion University coach was able to bring in 12 new players to help boost the team’s success.
Within these new players are two Division I transfers, Alexi Cortez and Tobi Abel.
Along with the addition of these new recruits, the men have 13 players returning. Every member of the team has bought into the new program and respects what Sniegoski has done.
“Coach Sniegoski came in and turned the program upside-down,” Junior Brent Theriault said. “It’s working really well. The work rate has increased so much.”
Theriault has played goalkeeper for the Mocs for two seasons and plans on being a key asset in the team’s defense.
The men face several tough teams throughout the season and feel it is necessary to not think about anything but the game ahead.
“Just focus on one game at a time,” Sniegoski said. “Take it step by step and see where it takes us.”
Team captain’s, Mitchell Francois and Luke Jenner, lead the Mocs on and off the field.
Both veterans know what needs to be done this season and look forward to a new start.
“We’ve got the foundations in place to be very successful this year,” Jenner said. “I think we’ll take a lot of teams by surprise.”
Jenner, who led the team in scoring with three goals last season, has confidence in his coach’s new approach.
“As soon as coach came in you could see that he definitely had a winning mentality,” Jenner said. “He knows what it takes to win, he’s been drilling us with about a winning mentality. Everything is a competition even in practice. He doesn’t accept losing.”
With the team’s new outlook, they were able to bounce back from a 1-0 preseason loss against Stetson and take down Clearwater Christian, 8-0.
That win evened the men’s preseason record to 1-1 as they near regular season play.
The men begin their regular season on Sept. 7 at home against Warner.
This will officially mark the beginning of Sniegoski’s mission to have a winning season.
As a senior, Jenner plans on making this season one to remember.
“People think it’s going to take a few years to turn this team around, but that’s not my opinion at all,” Jenner said. “We’re still a new team, but I’ve got big goals for this season. I’m thinking conference tournament and beyond.”