Soccer | Photo by Soham Parikh | Edited by Kayli Thompson | The Wright State Guardian
The Wright State University (WSU) men’s soccer team is preparing for spring season, and they will have lost 10 players from last season’s Horizon League Championship team when the season begins.
Along with the production that will be lost from the 10 seniors, they will lose all of the leadership that those upperclassmen provided.
“Those guys had a ton of experience and many of them were three-to four-year starters in the program. Leadership is always something we are focused on and developing in the younger guys so that they will be ready when their time comes,” said Head Coach Jake Slemker.
Slemker is looking for his new seniors to lead this young group moving forward through these unusual circumstances.
“The message is clear, it’s their time to step up and set the tone in training every day. We also need them to lead this group off the field and in the locker room,” said Slemker.
The team will have five seniors when the spring season officially takes place. They all understand the importance of leading the younger guys.
“The older I get the more leadership I need to show on and off the field. I think it’s important that all of the older guys feel this way too because we have been here the longest and we know what to expect,” said senior Brayden McNitt.
Repeating as Horizon League champions
The team has been practicing for a while, and considering the season will not take place until the spring, it will be an extremely long layoff for the team.
“We can’t come in out of shape or spring season could be a disaster. It is the last semester here for most of the seniors and we don’t want spring to be a waste,” said McNitt.
Since this team won the Horizon League championship last season, teams will be looking to knock them off.
Repeating as champions has a lot to do with leadership, so the seniors on the team have been stressing the importance of staying ready over winter break.
“The biggest thing over winter break is to stay in shape, stay healthy and keep getting touches on the ball. With the unusual COVID-19 circumstances, it is important that everyone stays ready to play when needed,” said senior Alex Hummel.