The Albion men’s soccer team’s record is not a fair indicator of their success this season.
“It has been a pretty successful season in different ways, record-wise we would like to be a bit better, but right now as a team we are playing extremely well” Albion College men’s soccer coach Jerry Block said. “I am seeing a lot of progress over the season and as a coach that is definitely what I am looking for.”
The Britons had a strong recruiting class this year with four of ten first-year players starting in a recent win against conference rival Olivet on Oct. 15. But the team has had some tough losses this season despite team chemistry and incorporation of first year players. The team currently sits sixth in the conference with a 3-6 conference record and a 7-7-1 overall record.
The team suffered a significant loss when second year starter, attacking midfielder Kurt Miller, Dexter sophomore, tore his MCL in the Homecoming match against Adrian. Miller has not played since a 3-1 conference loss at Hope, after which he discovered the severity of his injury and was told not to play by doctors.
“Last year I played more of a defensive role at holding mid and this year I was moved up to attacking mid” Miller said. “I was starting to get in the groove of things until I got hurt which makes my injury pretty frustrating.”
Miller’s job on the field was to help distribute the ball amongst forwards and other midfielders, as well as score goals himself. Losing the second year starter is a setback for the team, but one of its biggest strengths is its depth.
“It’s a big blow for us, Kurt was having a really good year” said Block. “But on the other hand it gives player to step up and fill in his shoes. We have a deep squad, and I’m not saying Kurt won’t be missed, but we have guys that can come in and do really well.”
Forward Kyle Alsheskie, Wixom first year, and forward Jimmy Nieman, Rochester Hills junior, are having stand out seasons, leading the team in goals with five tallies a piece. Brian Greathouse has been outstanding in net this year with 44 saves and four shut-outs.
“We have been getting production from all over the field this year” said Miller. “Whether it is from Brian Greathouse in net, keeping us in games, or it is Jimmy Nieman and Kyle [Alsheskie] up front scoring, we get a lot of production.”
In order to make the MIAA playoffs the team needs to be one of the top four teams in their conference. Albion will likely have to win their next four games for a legitimate chance at making the tournament.
Photo courtesy of Albion College Sports Information