Joshua Mabry, Campus Carrier Asst. Sports Editor
Lorenzo Canalis, head women’s soccer coach, and Richard Vardy, head men’s soccer coach, are both optimistic about the upcoming season for their teams.
Coming off of an imperfect season last year, Canalis expects this season to be different for the Lady Vikings. His team went 3-4 in conference play last year.
“I think everyone is upset enough and focused enough to certainly try to do much better this year,” Canalis said. “Our goal would be to be ranked in the top 25 again.”
Canalis believes that achieving the goal of being so highly ranked is much tougher in NCAA Division III than it was in the NAIA. Berry transitioned to NCAA Division III from the NAIA .
Canalis said that the reason being ranked in the top 25 is so hard is because Berry has to face some tough competition.
“There are some really good teams, some not so good teams and some average teams,” Canalis said.
There are 17 women returning for this season and 10 freshmen. There are four captains on this season’s team: senior Megan Radosta, junior Carmen Angel, senior Samantha Schoppy and senior Logan Williams.
Canalis said that his expectations are very high for the four captains.
“I also expect the other seniors and juniors to provide situational leadership and leadership by example,” Canalis continued.
Vardy believes that his men’s soccer season is going to be a good and competitive one. Last year the team had a winning season with a winning percentage of just over .500.
“We’ve always been very competitive and we expect to have a really good season this year,” Vardy said.
Vardy said that there are many seniors and a talented incoming freshman class this year for the men’s team.
“We have a good depth in a lot of positions on the field,” Vardy said.
The three captains on this year’s team, senior Carson Oakes, senior Alec Jones and senior Caleb Ford will play a big role for the team according to Vardy.
Oakes is the goalkeeper for the team.
“Having a senior goalkeeper who has some experience playing at a good level is a good thing,” Vardy said. “It makes the team confident to have him behind them.”
Vardy hopes that his team competes well in both conference play and non-conference play. Vardy said that if the Vikings compete well in non-conference play, it will give the team a chance to be nationally ranked. However, if the Vikings do not get in the national rankings but are competing well, it will get the team ready for conference play.
The women’s and men’s soccer season will begin on the road on August 31.