Jacob Hunt, Campus Carrier online editor
The leaves are starting to change, the temperatures are cooling down, and while Berry is finally experiencing autumn, fall sports are coming to a close. Men’s and women’s soccer, however, still have a few weeks left, as post-season is about to begin.
The men’s soccer team entered this season with an initial concern of replacing 11 graduated players with freshmen. As the season progressed, however, the team saw many successes, including numerous wins and a few losses by a single goal. Now, the team is preparing for the final games of the season, which may lead them to a win in the upcoming conference play-offs.
“There is no guaranteed wins and you appreciate every one you get, especially on a rebuilding year, where it is nice to stay competitive and keep our heads above water,” head coach Richard Vardy said.
Another major issue is the high number of injuries that have prevented players from competing. This past weekend’s game, for example, which resulted in a loss against Oglethorpe, was difficult to prepare for due to the high number of unavailable players. The team still had enough victories from before, however, to advance into a post-season.
“Going into this weekend [the Oglethorpe game] we had a lot of injuries and we were struggling a little bit with numbers, which is unfortunate,” Vardy said. “If we get past this weekend and get a few more guys healthy, we will hopefully put together a good run for the conference play-offs.”
The men’s team will be competing in the quarterfinals Saturday at 12 p.m. against Rhodes College to see if they will continue on towards the final conference games in late November.
The women’s team’s season can best be described in moments. Also starting with a huge freshman group of 16 players, the team had both successes and failures throughout the last few weeks. Still, the team will continue into a postseason game this coming Saturday, ultimately trying to reach as high as possible.
“Other than Centre, which has proven to be better than everyone else, everyone else we have a chance at, either win or lose,” head coach Lorenzo Canalis said.
The team had a pretty balanced season with eight wins, six losses, and two ties. One of their highest moments, according to Canalis, occurred when the team came back against Huntington for a win that did not seem likely at the game’s start.
The team, however, does have some concerns they are still facing going into play-offs from issues that have occurred throughout the season. Other than injuries, which have also affected the women’s team, Canalis expressed disappointment in the team’s lack of progress this year. He believes the team stayed at the same level as last season because they had to focus on integrating the new players while also prepping for the normal season.
The team will face Birmingham-Southern this Saturday at 2 p.m. to see if they will advance to the next round of postseason.