Men’s soccer defeats Embry-Riddle for first time since 2002
By Melissa Bear
For the first time in several years, Flagler men’s soccer coach John Lynch feels his team is playing up to the tradition of his team in years past.
It has been several years since the men’s soccer team has defeated long time Florida Sun Conference rival Embry-Riddle, so long that only one member of this year’s team has ever been a part of a Saints victory against the Eagles. This season’s 1-0 victory over then number six-ranked Embry-Riddle also broke a seven-game winning streak for the Eagles.
The Saints current record of 7-5 is vast improvement over the 3-7 record of a year ago.
Although so many key players are the same, Lynch says the overall morale of his team is vastly different from last year’s team.
“The main difference from last year to this year is we are playing harder and playing for each other, where last year we were playing for individuals,” Lynch said.
The response of his players has been better than he expected, despite this season being a probationary one for the school. According to Lynch, the overall environment and emphasis of teamwork has made this season enjoyable, and a success thus far.
“Even though we do not have a post-season, the lads haven’t seemed to let that bother them,” Lynch said. “We’ve stayed focused on the job at hand which has been winning soccer matches. This has been very pleasing for me.”
Freshman Glenn Josephik has enjoyed his transition into collegiate competition. Although the team experienced two very tough losses to an extremely talented Webber, he says the team plays well together, and is very optimistic for the remainder of the season.
“We’re just looking to stay consistent and play good soccer,” Josephik said.
Some of the biggest contributors to the success of this season have been the seniors.
“It has been pleasing to see them have standout seasons to finish their college career on a high note,” Lynch said.
Lynch has been pleased with performances from players such as senior Jorgen Rosten, who is playing a completely different position from his first three with the Saints, playing primarily defense for the first time in his college career.
“It was something Jorgen and I spoke about last spring, and after we tried it the first few games, we decided that we should keep things that way for awhile,” Lynch said. “It has been a pleasant surprise this season. It is one of those things you wonder as a coach why you didn’t do that sooner.”
The Saints have tough games ahead of them for the second half of the season, with high ranked Div. II Rollins College, Div. I UNF and Winthrop and former FSC rivals SCAD.
“We have a tough road ahead of us for the remainder of the season with a lot of tough opposition,” Lynch said.
Playing tough competition this season has begun to wear on some of the men as the season has continued, but players such as senior Joey Riley are still pushing for a great second half of the season.
“A few of us are feeling the aches and pains of so many very tough games early in the season,” Riley said. “I believe we can continue to bring many more victories home to Flagler [this season].”
While the seniors have played such an important part in the success of the season, Lynch has been hesitant to make extreme changes to his lineup due to the success of his starters.
“Success is funny, because when your season is going well, you tend to stick with the team that is getting the job done,” he siad. “You are winning games and playing well. That is always hard for the players who are on the fringe and not getting the chance they may deserve.”