The University of Sioux Falls men’s soccer coach, PaulBennett, said in an interview with TheVessel that the team has quickly realized that Division II teams are moreathletic, physical, and competitive than what they played at the NAIA level. Bennettadded that every game is back and forth and that the team will have to adjustto playing at such a high level of competition when they play teams back toback on weekends and road trips.
The Cougar men are 1-4-1, and haveplayed some very tough opponents. The teams’ losses came from tough teams. Theyfell to Division II Rockhurst University, University of Colorado-ColoradoSprings and Regis University, who was ranked when they played them. WilliamJewell, a NAIA team which made it to the Final Four last year, is alsotransitioning to Division II and beat the Cougars as well.
The Cougars got their lone win againstMount Marty and tied Davenport College, both still NAIA teams.
Coach Bennett said he scheduled toughteams this year to see where the men are at in relation to the top teams inDivision II. He also wanted to gauge where the men need to improve theirplaying.
The Cougar men have several keyplayers this year. Team captain and midfielders Matt Wolfe and Ryan Keohanehave helped lead the team.
Keohane alongwith Connor Shefte at midfield and Zach Jurgensas, a defender, have playedconsistently in every game this year. Two freshmen that have contributed aswell are Ryan West at centerback and Ryan Tollefsrun at left back.
Bennett also said the team will lookto improve upon its defense and team chemistry and really try to put a fullgame together.
The Cougarmen are at home today, September 29th, against the University of Mary