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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU men’s soccer opens GMAC conference play strong

The Eagles have rebounded after a struggle some start to the season
Gabby Diehl
The Eagles have rebounded well to start conference play, as the offense starts to flourish.

On the final day of September, Men’s Soccer finished their first half of Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) games of the 2023-24 season.

After not starting their season the way, they wanted to with a record of 0-4, the Eagles have turned their season around. Now currently, the Eagles have a record of 3-5-2.

Over this 6-game span, the Eagles did not just wrack some wins on the season, but one player was able to win GMAC Player of the Week.

That being 5th year senior, Oliver Whaley.

Currently, Whaley has five goals and six assists this season. He was dedicated in the offseason to work hard and help lead the Eagles.

“I think last year, I played well but didn’t help the team out enough with goals and assists, so it was definitely something I wanted to work on,” he said.

From the outside view, the team looks to be in a bad spot as they struggled throughout non-conference play. However, even with hiccups the confidence remained with the team.

“We were playing well in the games as we were out shooting most teams, it was just a matter of clearing up the mistakes defensively and being more clinical in front of goal,” said Whaley.

Statistics across this six-game span have some high point totals for some individuals’ players.

Whaley was not the only player to help contribute big on the score sheet. Junior Rodri Fernandez had a tremendous three goals and four assists, with also senior Vander Rocha having a good performance with three goals and two assists.

Even with all those top-notch stats, no player is close to junior forward Pedro Faria having an outstanding five goals in six games for the Eagles.

Alongside the overall view of the team, Whaley gave credit to junior goaltender Ty Bowden who returned from an injury, helping rebound the season for the team.

One thing that has not changed for the Eagles was the passion they have brought to every game.

“We want to help each other more on and off the field building a better chemistry, said sophomore defender Francesco “Franco” Chiappo

As conference play continues to roll on, he wants to see the team continue to push past adversity.

“Expect the team to keep working hard and wanting to the post-season to prove something,” he said.

What is next for the Eagles is the next part of their GMAC schedule containing big home games such as Tiffin, Cedarville, and rival Findlay.

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