By Keith Hayes II | firstname.lastname@example.org
Head coach John Lynch of the Flagler men’s soccer team said he likes being ranked in the top-25 of Division-II programs, but it’s the ranking at the end of the season that matters most.
“It is nice getting recognized. Being ranked puts a target on your back,” Lynch said. “I think it brings confidence. We need to learn to cope. What is important is the final rankings. If I wanted to be ranked, I want it to be the final one.”
With a 7-2-0 record to start the season, the Saints are ranked No. 12 in the nation as of Sept. 28, according to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II National Top 25 poll.
But a national ranking does more than just build team pride.
“Being ranked definitely gives us more confidence and helps a lot with recruiting,” Kevin Partel, senior defensemen, said.
“Everyone is there for each other on and off the field,” Joseph Toby, sophomore midfielder, said. “It’s kind of like a family. We play harder knowing we want to be number one and NCAA Division-II champions.”
The Saints are midway through the season and will be looking ahead with many tough opponents remaining on the schedule. Flagler’s next home soccer match will be on Friday, Oct. 15 against Saint Xavier (Ill.) followed by No. 9 University of Tampa on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Both matches are set for 7 p.m. at Flagler Field.