Vikings celebrate after scoring a goal against William Woods University. The men’s soccer team faced and won against the team from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma on Saturday, Nov 23, in Marshall at Gregg-Mitchell Field.
Story by DelMeko Jordan
The 2013 season isn’t quite over but the Missouri Valley College’s men’s soccer team has a lot to be proud of. Vladimir Simic, the head men’s soccer coach, has brought the team from obscurity to prominence. In 2006 when he took over the men’s soccer program at Missouri Valley College, the team was at the bottom of the Heart of America Athletic
Conference standings. Since his arrival the team has made a steady rise to the top of the conference standings. In 2011, the team won the conference title. Simic was also named “Co-Coach of the Year” for the HAAC conference. Before Simic’s arrival at Missouri Valley, the team had trouble winning the conference and that meant it had no chance at a national title.
In 2010, the team busted through the glass ceiling and made the playoffs. Currently the team has made four straight national tournament appearances. Simic said that is an accomplishment.“Not many teams made it four time in a row, I would say that is an accomplishment on the coaching staff and the players,” Simic said.The players that Simic recruited have helped elevate the program to national championship aspirations. Nicholas Alexander, a senior from Manchester, England, has been on every national tournament appearing team in Missouri Valley College’s men soccer history. Alexander leads the Vikings and the conference with 14 goals scored. He said his goal for the season was to go to nationals.
Players are introduced on Homecoming day on October 13 in a game against Mid-America Nazarene University at MVC.
“We can definitely win it we definitely come out with the win,” Alexander said.
The team has pick up that train of thought, but the Vikings finishing the season 12-4-4 and 3-2 in the conference play. Saturday, November 23, the Vikings played the University of Science and Arts and a winner take all playoff game. The Vikings ended up beating University Science and Arts 2-1. The Vikings has never won a national playoff game. Coach Simic knows this is the time to win.
“The senior class is a great class it’s going to be tough to replace them,” Simic said, “But there the reason why we are here because of them building the program.”
Senior goalkeeper Josh Wells said he is going to miss Missouri Valley.
“I’m going to miss the place its going to be sad not being here next year,” Wells said.
The Vikings can be proud of where they are now but they hope to be the last team standing and everyone can be proud of where the season ended.
Missouri Valley College’s seniors are honored before their last regular home match against Lindenwood University on October 29 at Gregg-Mitchell Field, at MVC. (Photo byTyrone Ritter/MVC)