Written by Kaelyn Spickler
This past weekend, Kerr Stadium was packed and full of energy as our Men’s Soccer team hosted the RC Invitational. Playing in front of a large crowd is something freshman forward Isaac Wolf is still getting used to. “Since we were at home it was a lot different because of bunch of people came out, and I’m not used to that. It made it more exciting and made me want to do better, too,” Wolf said. That energy and excitement from the crowd is greatly appreciated by the team. “The atmosphere was great, both, Friday and Saturday. I loved seeing the ‘Super Fan’ hyping everyone up, getting them to do the wave. It really got us to play at our best. We definitely thrive off of a good crowd,” junior forward Atticus Cooke said.
Friday night, the Maroons took on Oberlin in the first round of the invitational. The team consists of 16 freshmen including Wolf. “My first time on the field I was really nervous, but excited at the same time,” Wolf said. Fresh from a concussion, Cook had been waiting all week to get back on the field and was ready to make up for the time he had lost. He knew he had to score and wanted to “provide for the team.” Cook could feel the goal coming as it crossed through the midfield. Freshman forward Anthony Zarlenga obtained the ball with wide open space and assisted to Cooke as he “finessed it to the back corner” to score within 15 minutes of the first half. “There’s nothing better than that for me. It’s the best feeling ever, and I definitely want that feeling again. I’m hungry for some more goals,” Cooke said.
Fast forward to Saturday where the Maroons battled Averett, and the momentum is still going strong. Senior midfielder Ryan Hepburn recalls getting a penalty kick. “I took a deep breath and remained confident and scored,” Hepburn said. In this moment Cooke believes everything changed for the Maroons. Seven minutes later sophomore Anthony Wisdo fed off that energy to score the second goal of the game to give the Maroons a more comfortable lead of 2-0.
The team hopes to keep that momentum going for the remainder of the season and well into the ODAC Championship. Hepburn revels there is one goal in all of their minds which is to win, and Cook agrees. “We will do whatever it takes to reach that goal. Whether it be training or calling each other out on our mistakes to make sure we all get better. We definitely have a team first mentality. We are family on and off the field which brings us together,” Cooke said.