By Lyndsey Peace, Editor-in-Chief
The Hardin-Simmons University men’s soccer team will be competing for the championship in the upcoming American Southwest Conference Tournament. Quarterfinals take place on Nov. 5, semifinals on Nov. 8 and championship finals on Nov. 10.
Trent Ivy, junior goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team, has only seen the team improve over the season. “We [the team] have been doing great. We got off to the best start [to the season] we’ve ever had,” Ivy said.
Ivy is confident in the team’s abilities and has a positive outlook for the ASC tournament. “I expect to win a ring. I feel like we have the best team in the conference,” Ivy said.
Ivy’s faith in the team stems from the growth he has seen from the players this season, both physically and mentally. “This year we finally found an identity for ourselves, and we set the tempo for other teams to adapt to us instead of changing our game plan for other teams,” Ivy said.
Ultimately, each player’s dedication and hard work during practice has been a huge reason for the team’s success. “[The team’s] work ethic has really put us over the top,” Ivy said.
Ivy also pointed out that the talent from the “practice squad” has helped each player improve and has been a big factor to the overall team’s success. “We [the team] have so much depth that we can bring in subs and the level of play doesn’t drop off — that’s been the biggest impact [to the team] this semester,” Ivy said.
Although the team has seen internal growth this season, there are external factors, like the fairness of referees, that the players have had to overcome. “Referees especially have been our greatest challenge. They almost seem against us. But you just have to keep your head. You have to beat the other teamandthe refs sometimes,” Ivy said.
Ivy knows that the team will do well in the ASC tournament if the players keep their temper in check despite any calls by the referees that seem unfair. “We [the players] have to keep our heads and play to our identity that we’ve established and keep working hard,” Ivy said.
As the ASC tournament approaches, the team will continue to prepare in hopes of winning the ASC Championship title.