Men’s soccer off to quick start

Senior Defender, Neil Patrickson, keeps the ball away from a Nova Southeastern University player in an important match-up the Saints won. Nova was ranked No. 9

After 4-0 victory over Nova, team confidence on the rise

By Kristina Haumschild |

Flagler’s men’s soccer team is ranked fifth in the South Region. The Saints have kicked it into high gear with a 4-2 start, blanking nationally-ranked Nova Southeastern University, 4-0, at home.

“That was the most satisfying win yet,” said John Lynch, men’s head soccer coach. “I knew we could always do it, but with the win over Nova, it really showed the guys what they could achieve.”

After finishing last season with a disappointing two wins and 15 losses, Coach Lynch knew a change had to be made.

“We were not a team. There was a lack of commitment and changes needed to be made to turn the next season around.”

Lynch cut over half of his team, leaving a core of 11 players to start over.
And, oh, how they have changed. Coach Lynch credits the turn around to the cohesiveness of the team.

“It’s a group effort now,” he said. “They train tougher, play tougher, but most importantly, gel better.”
Eoin Cassin, co-captain and defender on the men’s team, said that this year’s squad is the tightest group in the three years he’s been on the team.

Besides the camaraderie that is present, there have been key additions that have made the team stronger. Solid goal tending by freshman Chandler Gay has cemented the defensive wall. Also, red shirt freshmen Pol Berenguer and Mac Hough, freshman Johan Bergfeld and transfer Brad Vinciguerra have given the Saints an offensive edge that they didn’t have last year.

“We have strikers now,” said Cassin. “Last year we really struggled to find people to score.”

The Flagler men have already tallied 13 goals in the first six games, compared to the 14 total goals they scored last season.

The amazing shut-out has come and gone, and now the men have much more to focus on in order to make it to the national tournament.

After a very disappointing season last year, everyone is looking forward with optimism.

“We are just going to take it one game at a time,” said Lynch about the remaining competition that lies ahead.

With three teams ranked in the top four in their region — Lynn University, Barry University and University of Tampa — still to come, Flagler and its coaching staff know that the journey is far from over.

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