Roughriders soccer scores fruitful season

By Derek Shore



After dropping a 3-2 loss to St. Louis Community College on Sept. 6, the Roughriders soccer team has won ten of their last 11 games over the past month and a half, compiling an 12-3 overall record so far through their 2016 campaign.

Crowder’s head men’s soccer coach Brad Smith sees them coming together as a unit.

“We are learning to play with each other,” Smith said. “They have figured out if we stay with what we do – we should be in it – whether we win or not. They’ve done well with that.”

The Roughriders, who went 3-1 in pre-season play, opened the regular season with a 9-1 rout over Wentworth Military College on Aug. 26.

Crowder took their first loss on the road two days later, dropping a 4-3 contest at the hands of Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa. The teasoccer2m recovered at home with a 4-0 blanking over Coffeyville Community College to finish the month of August on a strong note before St. Louis Community College knocked them off, 3-2 on Sept. 3.

Since Sept. 6, the Roughriders have gone 10-1, outscoring opponents 38-5 while posting seven shutouts in the process.

“They seem to be getting along really well,” Smith said of his team’s recent performance, who return seven upperclassmen and 18 freshman. “We haven’t had the normal complaints you get about playing time. Everybody is rooting for each other.

“It’s been refreshing,” he added with a laugh.

Of those returning players, Marlon Freitas, who just recently broke Crowder’s all-time school record for goals scored, is excited about what’s to come this semester.

“I am happy that our team is winning difficult games,” Freitas said. “Our team is stronger and this shows that we are focused on being champions.”

With one game left to play, Smith remains optimistic about a playoff run.

“Getting a couple of home playoff games would help (for a deep postseason run),” Smith suggested. “Much more fun playing at home than playing in St. Louis.”

Freitas has specific goals in mind for his team to build on as postseason play nears.

“(We hope) to keep our defense strong, keep good sportsmanship, and to make more goals to win national championship.”

Roughrider soccer will finish out the season on the road against East Central College on Oct. 18 at 3 p.m.

“Come and watch us,” Smith said. “We’re fun to watch. We just knock it around. It’s like playing keep away.”