Marlin men take the field

As the 2016-2017 school year starts, the Virginia Wesleyan Men’s Soccer Team gears up for what looks to be a promising season. The Marlins’ balance of youth and experience, coupled with the coaching and guidance of head coach Chris Mills, makes the team a force to be reckoned with.

After placing third at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament last year, Mills is looking to do even better in this upcoming campaign.

“We have lots of new players, and we all have a lot of learning to do. As a whole, they’re a talented group, and I’m expecting them to play key roles,” Mills said.

The squad shows a great amount of ambition and flair. It’s freshmen like Miciah Brown, that embody that description.

“I love my teammates, the amount of young talent that we have is incredible,” Brown said.

The squad has 15 freshmen, each bringing a new and exciting aspect to the team.

“I believe we can qualify for the ODAC tournament and go further than the program has been before,” Brown said.

Following a semi-final exit last year, Mills will surely be looking to improve this year at the ODAC tournament.

Along with the talented youngsters, returners such as Ricky Perrault, who scored seven goals to win Rookie of the Year in the 2015-2016 campaign earning him a place in the All-ODAC second team, and Andrew Freeman, who was included in the All-ODAC third team, are both players to look out for this season. Both Perrault and Freeman grabbed goals in the win over Methodist University.

Mills said that he was looking forward to all of the games they have scheduled this season.

“They’re all competitive, and we’ve got to take them one at a time,” Mills said.

The 2016-2017 campaign started slow with a draw against Allegheny College and a loss to Greensboro College but is looking up after a 5-0 win against Methodist University on Sept. 7. The victory looked a comprehensive one with Methodist University registering only one shot on goal during the entire match. This success seems to point towards the fact that the team is coming together, and the newcomers are finding their feet in the collegiate level.

This season proves equally enticing to Marlins fans with home games against Christopher Newport University, North Carolina Wesleyan, Bridgewater College, Roanoke College, Randolph-Macon College and Shenandoah University this fall.

Henry Tasker

(Photo: Department of Sports Information | Courtesy)