Men’s soccer looks to clinch postseason bid
After dropping five matches in a row and two of their past 10, the Raiders earned a 1-0 victory at home against conference foe Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday.
“I think we have gotten to the point where we’re realizing every game is a must win,” junior Angelo Capuano said.
The victory was only the fourth of the season for WSU, but the Raiders are 2-3-1 in conference play.
That record is good enough for a spot in the upcoming Horizon League tournament. But before the Raiders can lock down a postseason berth, a final conference game at Loyola (Chicago) on Saturday stands in the way.
Before the big showdown in the Windy City, the Raiders will travel to Bowling Green to take on the Falcons in non-conference play.
“We can use it to sure up some of the things we’ve been working on to get us better prepared,” Capuano said. “At the same time, BG is a big rivalry game for us, so we’re obviously looking to come out and get a good result against a good team.”
“The goal is definitely to get three points,” junior Drake Stewart said. “We want to keep the ball rolling, win out the rest of the year and send our seniors out holding that Horizon League trophy.”
Injuries have plagued the Raiders, who were picked to win the Horizon League in preseason polls, all season. With another injury—this one to junior Derek Zuniga—the WSU bench will need to keep up their strong play.
“Injuries come and go, and we have been adjusting quite well,” Stewart said. “Guys have been stepping up which is huge.”
Those injuries have only upped the level of pressure facing a WSU squad still fighting for a postseason berth.
“Guys will always get hurt, that’s just a normal occurrence at this level,” Capuano said. “We’re deep enough, though, to where guys can step up and log good minutes for us if needed.”
The Raiders see every game as a must win and they control their own destiny going into this weekend’s matchup with the Ramblers. With a win or a draw, they’re in the conference tournament. A loss puts things in jeopardy.
According to Head Coach Bryan Davis, what the team needs to focus on is simple: defense.
“You can’t win games when you’re constantly giving up goals,” Davis said.