By Tom Albano
The men’s soccer team (0-7) is gearing up for another weekend game, this time matching up against Temple University as the Broncs look to end their seven-game losing streak.
Rider has recently dealt with two tough losses at the Princeton Invitational last week, losing 3-1 to the host Princeton followed by a 7-2 loss to the University of Pennsylvania.
Despite the team’s winless record, Head Coach Charlie Inverso has not been disappointed in his team’s play.
“To be honest, I felt pretty good about our performance, even though we didn’t win,” Inverso said.
Junior Eric Elgin feels that the team has not shown what it is capable of doing against the tough competition.
“We have been extremely disappointed with the results of our games,” Elgin said. “The results and our overall record are not indicative of the improvement we have made from last season and the talent we have developed on our team.”
The Broncs have been outscored by their opponents 21-5 in the first seven games. Despite the stat, Inverso doesn’t want his team to give up.
“We’re trying to instill confidence in these guys and get them to understand that we can win and turn the season around,” Inverso said.
According to Elgin, hard work will be crucial to see results on the field.
“It’s a long season and we know that we cannot get discouraged by past results,” Elgin said. “We have to keep working hard every day and once we are able to snap this losing streak, hopefully we can gain some confidence as a group and start to get on a roll.”
Inverso admitted that incorporating the new faces with the old has been a difficult task this season.
“We’re 10 freshmen and 10 seniors, and to try to bring the two groups together [is] a bit difficult,” Inverso said. “We’re playing eight freshmen on a regular basis. They’re getting experience, but we’re not playing for the future, we’re playing the present.”
Inverso is not looking to change his game plan for matches down the road.
“Our strategy is the same: always have possession, score and [have] solid defense,” Inverso said. “Defense is the issue that we have to address.”
Elgin agreed with his coach.
“Last year, we relied heavily on a strong team defense to keep games close,” Elgin said. “We really would like to regain that identity against Temple and continue to improve our ability to possess the ball.”
Despite the poor record, conference play still has to begin. The Broncs open their conference schedule next Friday on the road at Canisius.
“The team is still optimistic since the start of the conference schedule is, in essence, the beginning of a new season,” Elgin said. “Our out-of- conference record does not contribute to qualifying for the playoffs.”