Roughrider soccer looking to improve in 2014

Ryan Land  Editor-In-Chief Kenneth Aleri, freshman #2, battles with a player from Allen County for the ball during an Aug. 13 game.

Ryan Land | Editor-In-Chief
Kenneth Aleri, freshman #2, battles with a player from Allen County for the ball during an Aug. 13 game.

By Ryan Land


The Roughrider soccer team is set to open their regular season for 2014 on Aug. 21 against Eastern Oklahoma State University at Roughrider field.

The team finished out their three pre-season scrimmage games with an overall record of 3-0. They started by defeating former graduates of the Roughrider soccer program in the annual alumni game on Aug. 9, 8-0. They went on to defeat Allen County on Aug. 13, 2-0, before taking down Bacone on Aug. 16, 4-1. The win was earned during the second half after scores that came from Joe Rice, sophomore #4, Austin McKinney, sophomore #21, Jon Ponce, freshman #8, and Evaristo Martinez, freshman #10.

According to Brad Smith, head men’s soccer coach and physical education instructor, the scrimmage games were a test to show the talents of each player on the team.

“I think we probably have better depth,” said Smith. “So we can probably go deeper than we could have last year in terms of talented players. I don’t know that we have anybody that’s a superstar but we have a good group that’s together and trying to do the same thing.”

The Roughriders have been participating in four practice sessions a day to get ready for the upcoming schedule. With the many practices and the cooler weather, Smith, who is the Region 16 Soccer Chairman for the National Junior College Athletic Association [NJCAA], reported that the team is suffering little to no injuries at this point of the season.

“We’ve got some bumps and bruises and knicks, but you’re going to have that after two and a half weeks,” Smith noted. “I don’t think anything serious but I think most of it is just let’s get out of four-a-day practices and things like that.”

For Bryan Lemus, freshman #15 center man for the team, he enjoys being around his teammates, regardless of where everyone is from.

“We get a long perfect,” said Lemus, who hails from Springdale, Ark. “There’s so much diversity but it just gets us united and everyone gets along.”

According to the roster on the school website, the team consists of 29 players with jersey numbers ranging from 0 to 29. Twenty of the players are just starting their college careers this fall as freshman. Lemus hopes that with more freshman than sophomores, the team can be a contender in Region 16 play.

“As a team, we always want to be better than the year before,” Lemus stated. “Some of the players comment on that and they said we will be, but it’s always getting a winning season.”

Smith feels the same way, including hopes for reaching post season play in October and giving Crowder a chance to host a major playoff game.

“Our big would be to win the region,” admitted Smith. “We’ve never done it so I don’t know how realistic it is. We’d like to host a playoff game as a way to start that and then see where we get.”

The team will remain at home for the rest of the month to open their season on Aug. 20 at 4 p.m. against Eastern Oklahoma State University, followed by a 2 p.m. matchup on Aug. 24 against Hesston. For a complete schedule, go to

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