mu mens soccer
First Years Julian Keonugh, Cory Mitchell, and Adrian De Leon (front, left to right) celebrate triumph over Defiance.
Photo provided by MU Athletics

MU Men's Soccer Kicks on Despite Shortened Season

Kelsey Tyler

The MU men’s soccer program has been playing games left and right.

The team just recently fell to Hanover at home, on March 20. Even though they lost that day, the soccer guys already captured wins against Defiance, Earlham and Franklin.

“We’ve had a couple of frustrating results, but we’ve been able to step it up in training,” said Nathan Hunley, senior. “We have a ton of talent on the field, but we are still working on that final product to come together. We are hoping to finish the season strong with three games remaining.”

Manchester men’s soccer will play Anderson University on March 24, Mount St. Joe on March 27, and Bluffton on March 31. These games will close out the conference championship.

“We have a really talented group of first years, and honestly this is the best team I have played on in my four years here at Manchester,” senior, Josh Gonzalez said.

One of the first years joining the team this year is Cory Mitchell. Coming all the way from Florida, Mitchell scored his first collegiate goal in Manchester’s game against Defiance earlier this season.

Mitchell received the ball from Gonzalez and made a header into the goal. Mitchell then scored a second goal later in the game to give Manchester the leading point.

Dylan Olson, junior, described how he is enjoying playing soccer with his team, regardless of the new COVID-19 changes.

“It’s not the biggest deal having to wear masks and get tested every now and then,” he said. “Overall, I really am enjoying soccer this year, even with all of the restrictions.”

When hosting games, fans have to follow a number of these restrictions due to COVID-19. Opposing fans are not permitted, and only four people per every MU athlete can be admitted. These invited guests will be contacted to sign up for admittance by the University.

Along with this, up to 150 MU students/staff/faculty can be admitted, with proof of their Manchester IDs. Facial coverings must also be worn at all times on campus, and fans must socially distance at least six feet apart.

“Obviously this season has been very challenging with it being shortened and jumping straight into conference play, but we’re just grateful to be able to have a season where many teams across the country will not be having a season of their own,” Hunley said. “Having soccer has brought back some sort of very missed normalcy to my life.”