Men’s soccer leaving room for improvement

Men’s soccer looks to strengthen mentality after an average start to the year

Photo by Will Huang
Photo by Will Huang

“It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.” That’s the message head coach Mario Halapir had for the Wilfrid Laurier University men’s soccer team as they traveled to face two high-caliber opponents, the Western Mustangs and the Guelph Gryphons this past weekend

The young squad held their own, coming out of the contest versus Western in a 2-2 finish, but couldn’t pull out the win against Guelph on Sunday, dropping 2-1 on a Gryphon goal in the final minute.

The Hawks are now 1-2-1 to start off their season.

On Aug. 30, during their season opener, the Hawks fell to the Windsor Lancers in a 3-1 decision, with Tommy Sitaridis scoring the lone goal.

They would rebound back on Aug. 31 to capture their first win of the season against their Waterloo rivals 3-1.

Although Halapir thinks it would be nice to start and finish the season strong, he knows there will be a learning curve coming into this season, as the team is young and must adjust to multiple systems of play.

“The inexperience is going to show against the more experienced and the better quality teams,” he said.

“We are really young this year,” Sitaridis said. “We just have to keep working.”

At one point during the game against Windsor, there were 10 first-year Hawks on the field during the second half.

Despite their start, coach Halapir feels confident about the team this year.

He is already  seeing vast improvements in the squad this year than in previous years.

According to Halapir, the ability to play soccer and the desire to play, train and work hard to achieve the team’s goal are key improvements that he has noticed in this Laurier squad.

He also realizes that it’s going to take time to be an elite team.

“Belief that we can do it is not there, I think it’s going to take a bit of time to get there,” he said.

The team’s biggest challenge is going to be able to gel with one another in order to find the best combinations that will work on the field so they can start finding success and consistency throughout the rest of the season.

Another thing that was missing during the game was the ability to finish their chances.

According to Halapir, it will also take time to develop that instinct to finish off the team at the end of the game.

Halapir was confident that the team will be able to get to the point where they find success.

He thinks that getting the players in the right mindset willl take some time

“I think there’s more will, and more desire to get to that point where we have the right mentality to do it, it’s just a matter of how quickly we can get there,” he said.

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