MMC Men Boast 27 New Faces

August 29, 2018

Bryce Ladwig - Yankton P&D

If you plan on attending a handful of Mount Marty College men’s soccer games this season, you may need a program in hand. The entire soccer program has undergone major changes during the offseason, with 27 new faces, and a new coaching staff.

First year head coach Carlos Saenz takes the reins from Peter Shepard as the head coach and knows that rebuilding the men’s soccer program is not an overnight project.

“We have a long way to go. We need to establish a culture within the program that allows us to grow as a team and start winning. This town has not seen winning soccer in some time and hopefully we can turn that around soon,” Saenz said.

Mount Marty has not celebrated a Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) victory since the 2014 season and has won eight games since then. However, Saenz knows there are more definitions and markers for success than wins.

“As a team, we want to win obviously. Winning will come in time, but first we need to implement our offense and defense and establish what kind of team we want to be. We are literally building the program from the ground up,” he said.

While there are no new or returning seniors on the team, there are ten returning players from a season ago. Among them is sophomore Bryant Dvorak, who Saenz will rely upon this season as a leader.

“Bryant is one of those guys who is a natural leader for us. He has been here before and has the respect of the team. With so many new guys coming in, they need someone to lean on to help them adapt,” Saenz said.

There will be plenty of new faces this season, 13 of them international talents. With so many new faces with such different backgrounds, Saenz believes it will benefit the team.

“I think having so many guys from different backgrounds will help the team. Everyone has different experiences and styles of play that they can bring to the team,” he said.

It will not just be the team that will have different styles of play within, but position groups. There are five goalkeepers on the roster to open the season.

“Having that number of goalkeepers allows us to insert them in by their strengths and weaknesses. Some guys are better in certain aspects of the game, some better against certain styles of play,” Saenz said.

Won’t so many new players that have never played together take time to build chemistry?

“It is going well; we all get along very well and are consistently improving. I think it will take time to build the chemistry needed to win, but we have the talent to do so for sure,” Dvorak said. “This is probably one of the youngest and most talented teams Mount Marty has had.”

Despite being a fairly new team, Saenz hopes there will be a new resurgence of community support for the team.

“Yankton is a great community. They support Mount Marty athletics and we want to return that favor by providing a winning team and fun atmosphere. One of our biggest goals for this year is to bring more awareness to the soccer programs at Mount Marty. We are happy to be able to play at the new field (Crane Youngworth) and start fresh,” Saenz said.

The new look Lancers will kick off their season Aug. 31 at Crane-Youngworth Field — the new home for Mount Marty soccer — when they face off against Bethany College.

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2018 Season Schedule

Aug. 31 vs. Bethany 1 p.m.

Sept. 8 vs. Neb. Christian* 3 p.m.

Sept. 12 at York 3:30 p.m.

Sept. 19 vs. Briar Cliff 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 22 vs. Morningside 5:30 p.m.

Sept. 24 at Buena Vista 7 p.m.

Sept. 26 vs. Northwestern 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 at Hastings 8 p.m.

Oct. 2 at Dordt 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 10 at Dak. Wesleyan 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 13 vs. Midland 8 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. Concordia* 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 vs. Jamestown 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Presentation 3:30 p.m.

Oct. 27 at Doane 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 1 GPAC Quarterfinals

Nov. 6 GPAC Semifinals

Nov. 9 GPAC Championship

Home Games at Crane-Youngworth Field, unless marked (*-Easton Field)