Men’s soccer team remains humble

Brandon Shrider and Brandon Shrider

After posting their fourth shutout of the season earlier in the week, the BG men’s soccer team will return home this weekend with their sights set on another victory.

The Falcons have maintained their success this season with good team balance.

However, despite leading the nations in goals scored, the defense has been the essential aspect to their success.

“We just have to defend as a unit and we’ve been doing that pretty well,” senior midfielder Danny Baraldi said. “Starting with Nick [Landsberger] and then the rest of the back line, they’ve been leading the way.”

The concentration on the defensive side of the ball has been a strength for us and that “absolutely” cannot stop for the team to have any future success, head coach Eric Nichols said.

The Falcons recognize that their success begins with their defense, and by playing strong defensively has ultimately led to the myriad of offensive chances in the final third.

To this point in the season, the Falcons have been able to capitalize on their chances, but they must continue to push the ball in order to keep winning.

“We just want to maintain our urgency in the attack,” Nichols said. “Against Michigan, although we conceded possession, we were really dangerous each time we got the ball and that has to be the case on Friday night.”

This is critical for their game with Eastern Illinois this weekend because they resemble a similar style of play that the Falcons utilize.

Eastern Illinois does not have any specific weapon, but they’re a balanced team who play organized defense and look to get teams on the counter, which is the most similar to our style of play, Nichols said.

Thus, in order for the Falcons to be victorious, they will need to maintain the mindset they’ve carried all season.

“We treat every game like a championship game, so we’re just going to come out and fight and we expect them to fight just as hard as us,” freshman forward Brad Macomber said. “We’re expecting another good game, but we need to keep playing the way that we’ve been playing and I think we’ll come out on top again.”

They’re staying humble and they know that despite what has already happened, they’re focus needs to be on the next game, Nichols said.

The Falcons will bring this mentality into the weekend in preparation for the rest of the season.

Their goals go beyond just a good start Instead, they are striving to continue being victorious and eventually win the Mid-American Conference.

“It feels good [starting 5-1], but we’re still hungry,” Macomber said. “We’re not satisfied with 5-1, and we’re not satisfied with just beating Michigan. We’ve got a lot bigger goals than that.”