Ranked 14th nationally, MVC Men’s Soccer commences its 2011-2012 season against Rogers State University at 8p.m. tonight, Sept. 1, at Gregg-Mitchell Field.
The preparation for the opening game excites the players with competitive spirits and concentration on the ultimate quest to attain an NAIA championship title.
Vladimir Simic, head men’s soccer coach, started yesterday’s practice session with an opening statement to his Vikes, punctuating the importance of being professional and competitive.
Simic said, “If you get tackled, just bounce up and quit moaning.” Shortly after Simic’s disciplinary lecture, Justin Robbins, men’s soccer assistant coach, said, “Control your temper.” The morale and cohesion of the team is unprecedented. Christos Kontemivis, a freshman Athletic Trainer major, comes from one of great ancient civilizations which is Athens, Greece. “It is history for me to be the first Greek soccer player to sign with MVC,” he said. So, there is pressure on Kontemivis.
“It is a multi-racial squad,” Kontemivis said. “I feel very welcomed by the players from all corners of the world.”
Nevertheless, a local player from Marshall, Jonathan Najera, a freshman in Athletic Training, said, “I am happy to be here because it is a great team to be affiliated with.”
Najera emphasized the role of fans, friends and family in the game. “It helps a lot to see people support and cheer for us,” Najera said. “It powers you,” he added.
The season marks an end of an era for seven of senior Vikes who are one step closer to graduation. Coincidentally, the season will wrap up a decade of progressive work under the tenure of Coach Simic. It is an emotional and thrilling season for the Vikes.
However, there are no reservations about the senior participation on the men’s soccer team. Thirty players were recruited to participate in carrying the hopes and aspirations of fans of Missouri Valley College. Support from fans and friends is crucial and much appreciated, said Steven Crane, men’s soccer captain. “It is very important for us to build on our previous accomplishments,” Crane said. “After all, we are a progressive team with goals and desires.”
Eduardo Da Silva, a senior Economics major, said that the preseason games went well. Two convenient wins are a good sign for a great entrance to the league. “Being a senior makes me feel nostalgic,” Da Silva said. “I cannot wait for the games to be played.”
It is no wonder to see many fans talking about the opening game and the men’s soccer team this season, with the 4-3-3 formation, brings flair, panache, and artistic style to the game. Coach Simic said that the team prefers to attack and to display soccer skills.
Tony Quilici, a senior Psychology major, said, “I love watching men’s soccer team play because it is enjoyable to my eyes.” He added that it is a “very continental style of play” and that he “loves it.”
Today’s game against Rogers State University screams for fans. Everyone is invited and welcomed to come and watch the game. It is free admission.
The Vikes and coach ask for students’ support and fans to come out and watch them dazzle, because it is going to be an exciting season, and hopefully historical.
(Top photo: Goalkeepers Leonardo Barbosa, Josh Wells, Adria Borras, and Christos Kontemivis. All photos by Leon Emperio.)