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Soccer looks to build off of this season for the future

November 3, 2016

The Nicholls soccer team’s season ended with a 0-3 loss against Southeastern Louisiana University.

Last Friday’s game was a must-win for the Colonels and the loss ended Nicholls’ chances of advancing to the playoffs.

“We played a little bit below par,” Nicholls soccer head coach Michael McBride said.

The loss marked the third game in a row in which the Colonels were unable to score, all of which occurred while playing on the road. The Colonels fell to a 1-6-1 record on the road this season after the match against Southeastern. The only road-win for Nicholls came in the form of a 10-0 blowout against Grambling State University.

Despite posting a poor record on the road and missing the conference tournament, the Nicholls soccer team still made major strides at home this season. The Colonels managed a record of 5-2-1 at home, which was their best since 2013. Among their home victories was a 1-0 win against Stephen F. Austin University, the second-best team in the Southland Conference. This win marked one of just two conference games that Stephen F. Austin University lost this season.

“We set a couple of school records and scored a lot of goals,” McBride said on the team’s successful side this season.

This past season was McBride’s first for the Colonels, as he previously spent the last 15 seasons coaching the men’s soccer team at Notre Dame College.

“It’s been a huge challenge,” McBride said on the transition. “It was a huge learning curve for me and a huge adjustment for the players.”

Dylan Harrison, who resigned before this season in order to take the head-coaching job at Trinity University in San Antonio, had coached the Nicholls soccer team for seven years. This season was the first time that any of the players currently on Nicholls had to undergo a head coach change.

“All of the players have had to learn me, where previously I was there so long that getting new players was just like adding pieces to a puzzle,” McBride said.

While McBride said that he has learned much about the team and the players in his first three months at Nicholls, it is a rather short amount of time in which to determine a team’s identity.

“I’m still getting to learn some of the players, but it is a very conscientious group. If I ask them to do something, they’ll do it every time,” McBride said.

With the team’s playoff hopes gone, McBride said their focus has almost immediately been set on the future.

“The players will get a week off, then we’ll start individual training, get player feedback, and let them know the plan moving forward,” McBride said.

In addition to improving on the field, the Nicholls soccer team has made it a point to improve off of the field as well.

“We plan on getting more involved in the community. It is important we give back a little bit,” McBride said.

Although the Colonels have had their fair share of ups and downs this season, the new situation is a challenge that McBride said that both the players and coaching staff have relished.

“I feel like I’m reenergized. We want people to be proud of the Nicholls soccer team,” McBride said.

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