Injuries plague Roughriders during season

IMG_2564By Ryan Land
Sports Editor

The Roughrider soccer team now has a 4-4 overall record after losing to Neosho County, 5-1, at home on Sept. 11.

“We’ve got a bunch of injuries, forcing people to sit out and had more people getting hurt in the game,” said Brad Smith, head soccer coach and physical education instructor. “Fitness is also a part of this loss as they (Neosho County) were able to wear us down as part of the accommodations to the injuries.”

According to Smith, the players that are currently sitting on the sidelines due to injuries include Ousmane Ba, sophomore; Jose Valdez, sophomore; Sankoun Gassama, freshman; Facinet Camara, sophomore; and Kenlley Leyendeckers, freshman.

Coach Smith also noted that Daniel Collins, freshman, and Michael Balcha, sophomore, were injured during the Neosho County game.
The only score in the game from the Roughriders happened during the later stages of the first half when Will Krolman, freshman, and Joe Rice, freshman, teamed up to score.

Leading up to the Neosho County game, the team opened the season at home on Aug. 22 with a 2-1 win over Ozark Christian College. Following a 3-0 win on the road against Hesston, the team suffered three straight losses on the road against Coffeyville (4-2), Wentworth Military Academy (4-2) and West Virginia Tech (6-0).

The Roughriders would return home to host Ecclesia on Sept. 5, defeating them 6-2 before heading to Ferguson, MO to battle and defeat St. Louis Community College, 3-2, in overtime play.

Coach Smith is remaining optimistic about finishing off the season well, despite the effect the injuries have caused to the season so far.

“Our goal is to be in the top 4 in the region and get a home playoff game,” stated Smith. “We of course would like to win regions if we can, that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The Roughriders head to Independence, MO on Saturday to play Blue River at 3 p.m., before returning home to face neighboring NEO A&M Community College for Kick It to Cancer Day.

If you cannot make it out to any of the games, you can watch coverage online at