Men’s soccer kicks off season undefeated

Shane Kohler, promoted to head coach, leads the team in four exciting victories.

Featured Image: Senior Juan Tovar, junior Everett McCloskey, sophomore Zack Bittler and first-years Nolan Schulte and Oneil Stanley run towards team after Zack Bittler scores a goal. Elly Condit | Courtesy

After three seasons as the Men’s Soccer assistant coach, Shane Kohler has been named as the new Men’s Soccer head coach of Virginia Wesleyan. He came to VWU in the fall of 2020 after being a graduate assistant at Moravian College for three seasons. Kohler played collegiately at Rowan University.

“I was incredibly honored and excited to be selected as the next VWU Head Men’s Soccer Coach. Serving as the assistant coach the past three years here, I felt well-prepared for the opportunity,” Kohler said.

Their season has gotten off to a great start with a 4-0 record at home, with wins over Hardin-Simmons University, Berry College, Regent University and conference opponent Randolph College. Junior Aria Kimiavi shares excitement with the team after their wins against Hardin Simmons and Berry.

“The season has been off to a very positive start, starting off the season with 2 home wins is a big morale boost and the boys are buzzing going into our next couple games,” Kimiavi said.

Senior Alex Moody also commented on the new coaches. “The season is going well for us. We are gelling together and still figuring out each other every day. I think we are clicking which is why we are having success,” Moody said.

Kimiavi feels that the coaches have done a good job setting the standard to start the season.

“I think Coach Shane and Coach Cook have done an amazing job in terms of setting high standards of ourselves, including discipline on and off the field,” Kimiavi said. “We know what we are capable of so it’s important to make sure we are always holding each other accountable in order to reach our goals this season.”

Moody echoed similar words to Kimiavi, “The new coaching styles are giving us a new perspective and idea on how we want to play this year. I think Coach Shane and Coach Cooke have plenty of great ideas to help us keep improving everyday,” Moody said.

Junior Cam Khorassani defends against conference opponent Randolph College on Sept. 10. Elly Condit | Courtesy

The team’s expectations are high. “I expect the team to compete and battle every match this year. If we go out there, play, compete and win our matchups, I think we have a good chance in every game we play in,” Kohler said.

Kohler wants others to view the team as hard-working and passionate. “I want our team to be known as a hard working, passionate and disciplined group. Those characteristics I really value, and I believe they all play a crucial role in winning games,” Kohler said. 

“ I want other people to view us as a powerhouse who is always competing for the ODAC championship and eventually a national championship. But also view us as gentlemen on and off the field who are good members of the community” Moody said.

The Men’s Soccer team’s next home games are Saturday, Sept. 16 against William Peace University at 3 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 17 against North Carolina Wesleyan College starting at 5 p.m.


By: Colette Kearney