The men’s soccer team (1-7-1) has not started the season the way they’d hoped. The team has an opportunity to turn their season around as they will have a clean slate going into conference season. Here’s how they fared in the past, some key players to watch and how we expect them to do this upcoming season.
2017-18 Big West Conference seed: Third in the South Division.
2017-2018 Record: 4-5-1 (13 points)
Result: Loss in Semi-finals of Big West Tournament.
NCAA appearances: 0
Head Coach: Tim Cupello (sixth-year head coach)
Players to Watch:
The junior goalkeeper has been tasked with filling the hole left by former keeper and graduated senior Vincent Morales. Gutierrez has had a tough start to his campaign and has allowed a whopping 22 goals in nine matches. Riverside has struggled to defend in pre-conference play as a team, which obviously plays a huge part in the number of goals scored, but Gutierrez’s responsibility to direct his defenders and serve as the last line of defense will make him a difference maker on that end of the ball. His potential to change the tide for this struggling defense makes him a player worth watching.
Keca has led the way for his team offensively despite being a defender. The fourth-year defender has scored three goals and assisted on one goal as well. In order for the Highlanders to not only make the Big West Tournament, but also earn a win there, Keca will have to continue to score and look for ways to set up his teammates. Keca also has to do a better job at organizing the back-line to improve the team’s defense. His ability to impact the game on both the offensive and defensive end shows just how important of a player he is for the Highlanders.
Prediction: Eliminated in first round of Big West Tournament.
Wednesday, Oct. 3 against UC Irvine at 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 6 at Cal Poly at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 10 against UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m.