Men’s club soccer team kicks it into high gear

By Matt Haile —

The Men’s Soccer Club here at University of Wisconsin–Stout is a competitive team that plays other university clubs and travels within the state and sometimes to Northern Michigan.

With most of the team members having played soccer in high school, it really gives the players a chance to reconnect with the sport, in a way rekindling their love for the game. That isn’t always the case though, as some of the players have never played organized soccer before and just want to give it a try.

The team’s current record stands at 1-5, but the players have shown a great amount of potential throughout the season.

“We’ve come a long way this season and it’s been boatloads of fun. It’s nice coming out and just kicking the ball around with the guys.” said freshman defenseman Blake Miller (Lino Lakes, Minn.).

The Stout men’s team came off of their first win in four years, defeating the University of Wisconsin­–Platteville by a score of 5-2. The Blue Devils were fueled by the experience and patience of club veterans Victor Oseko (Sr, Hopkins, Minn.) and Gadi Samson (So, Medford, Wis.). Stout moved the ball around with expertise and played at top form leaving the opposition in the dust.

However, the clubs most recent game in Eau Claire, Wis. did not end as well, although Stout fought hard.

Right off the touch of the ball, the Blue Devils hounded the defense of the Blugolds while the Stout defenseman turned away every opportunity that University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire had. Within the first 30 minutes, a well-sent pass from junior international student Sanup Shrestha (Kathmandu, Nepal) found the foot of Miller, streaking down the left wing and Miller took care of the rest, sending a ripper into the upper netting. The ecstatic Blue Devils would carry that sense of euphoria into the half, along with a 1-0 lead.

The second half, however, was a completely different story. The Blugolds came out of the halftime break with something to prove, which they did by scoring three unanswered goals on the Blue Devils. Stout’s once fiery offense was now nothing but a dwindling flame, which would be shut out for the rest of the game. In the end, it was a frustrating 3-1 loss for Stout, but one that they can definitely learn from.

This past weekend, the Blue Devils traveled to Marquette University to take on the Golden Eagles and UW-Milwaukee on Saturday Oct. 4 before heading to University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point on Sunday, Oct. 5. Stout ended up coming up on the short end of all three matches.

Stout finishes off their season on a weekend trip to Michigan where they take on Michigan Tech on Oct. 18 and Northern Michigan the following day.

When asked about the Michigan trip, club President Stephen Vicelja (Sr, Redondo Beach, Cali.) commented, “The Michigan trip is always a great bonding experience for the team. This year we have a very solid team that plays well together, which makes the trip that much better.”

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