On Wednesday, Aug. 21, the Eckerd men’s soccer team hit the road to take on the University of South Florida’s team in their first preseason game of the 2019 season. The Tritons played a strong game but they were unable to recover from a goal scored by USF in the final minutes, causing them to lose 1-0. Despite the loss, Eckerd's Tritons were still proud of their performance against USF’s Division I team.
After arriving at USF’s Corbett Soccer Stadium, the team was just barely able to complete their warm up before alarms sounded to warn of lightning in the area. The inclimate weather forced the team to take cover indoors to wait out the long storm.
“We spent about two hours in the locker room. To try to make time go by faster we played this riddle game called ‘What are you bringing to the camping trip?’,” sophomore defender Zack McLaughlin said.
Since last season, the team has welcomed 11 new players including transfers and first-years. Due to this season's large number of recruits, the team has emphasized bonding exercises to create a unified team. Participating in games such as ‘What are you bringing to the camping trip’ allowed new and old players to bond as a team before their first away exhibition game of the preseason.
Despite the lengthy delay between warm ups and kickoff, the players were able to keep warm only conceding one goal. After a great battle, USF scored a goal with only five minutes left to play.
“Although it wasn’t the result we wanted, I’m still proud of the efforts we put forth as a team with so many new transfers and freshmen,” senior goalkeeper David Ormiston said.
The match gave the team a baseline and will allow them to efficiently continue improving their weaknesses and emphasizing their strengths during daily training sessions as they prepare for their second preseason game. The game will take place at Southeastern University against the University of the Virgin Islands at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31.