The College of Charleston Men’s Soccer team kicked off their season against Stetson in their annual Friday Night Futbol game. College of Charleston provided a shuttle for students so they could attend the game. Student attendees received free T-shirts and free hotdogs. The game was also the first featured sporting event on the fall punch cards.
“There’s room for improvement. I thought the defense was compact and stayed solid. Did the majority of the job we intended to do. But obviously we had time after the game to reflect on what we can do better.” said sophomore center back, Peter Dearle.
Despite the loss at the beginning of the season, the Cougars had a positive outlook after the game.
“The morale of the team was high. Due to a lot of new players, there was a bit of chemistry that we can work on. Always on the first game of the season, that’s the best time to determine where your strengths and weaknesses are and start to exploit those now,” said senior striker, Tucker Heffron,“there was many positives that we took away from the game. Obviously the score didn’t reflect that. But the lads stuck together. Having a good crowd there really helped the atmosphere and really helped us get out for the game. So it’s a shame about the result but the matter of fact that the lads are good so we knew that we could bounce back for the next game.” said Heffron.
The team received support from students and fans, which didn’t go unnoticed.
“It was great. I mean every time we get a good attendance, it really boosts the morale before the game and during the game.” said Peter Dearle, “Hearing reactions and stuff is great cause a lot of lads want to go to the next level professionally and obviously we’re going to have to get used to playing in front of crowds so it really does help.”
On September 28, long-time head coach, Ralph Lundy, was honored with a field dedication. This season has been his 33rd season serving as head coach for the Cougars men’s soccer team. Lundy is planning to retire at the end of this season.
“I’m honored. I’ve been very fortunate to be here and be able to coach for the cougars.” said Lundy.
Lundy is currently the fourth-winningest coach within active Division I men’s soccer. Something Lundy instills in his team is the will to continue to fight.
“I teach them, you’re going to get punched, you’re going to get knocked down but you gotta get up, keep on fighting. Just like Muhammad Ali,” he said.
Despite the rough first game, the team still has their eyes set on accomplishing big things this season.
“The goal for the rest of the season is to make it to the NCAA Tournament and fight that adversity the way that the Cougars know how to —and that’s just going to get the next win and then always looking one game ahead from there.” said Heffron.
The Cougar’s look at it as a great way to send off head coach Ralph Lundy.
Friday Night Futbol has been one of the more sought-after sporting events at The College. Whether the students are fans of the game, or fans of the free items they’ll receive, the students look forward to this game every year.
“We have great promotions people at the College of Charleston,” said Lundy, “Our people work so hard — they work so hard, so I appreciate all the promotions they put forward.”