Ranked No. 11 in the United Soccer Coaches' national ranking, the men’s soccer team is hoping to come back just as strong this season. After Head Coach Jason Griffiths joined the program last year, the team achieved a 19-3 record and a chance to compete in Chicago, Illinois at the Sweet 16 match.
Senior midfielder Erick Juarez-Manning said the culture of team has changed since Griffith showed up.
“Winning games just completely changed everybody’s mindset, so I think we’re in it for the long haul this year too," said Juarez-Manning.
The team has added 12 new players. Griffiths said they all can contribute and are keeping veteran players on their toes.
Griffiths also said the speed of play is quicker compared to last year. His goal is to bring the best and worst players to the same level.
The Cardinals did lose Jaden Lunger, a two-time winner of the Ohio Athletic Conference Defender of the Year award, but will gain him as an assistant coach this season.
Griffiths said, “We have guys now we need to step up in his place. Jayden’s gone from the field, but he’s on the sidelines, so he can share his wisdom and experience with those guys too.”
The team will start the season with three away matches before they host Thomas More at Otterbein University’s Memorial Stadium on Sept. 11.