RUTLAND — College of St. Joseph men’s soccer team kicked off its season in an away game against the Johnson State Badgers on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 4 p.m. The Fighting Saints are looking to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders this season with 12 returning players on the squad. They finished last season with a record of 4-5-1 and look to improve on that this year with their gained experience and depth.
The Fighting Saints are entering this season with a positive outlook and are confident in their abilities after a productive pre-season.
“This year our biggest strength is our defense. We have a better defense than last year, everybody is on their A game,” said captain goalkeeper Julio Garcia.
The team is also excited to work on some parts of the game they felt they lacked during last year’s season.
Coach Adam Pullinen and captain forward Patrick Dias agree that the team needs to work together as a unit in order to be successful.
“Team chemistry is the biggest thing for us; we need to be speaking the same language out there on the field” Dias said. Coach Pullinen echoed that statement: “As the season goes along, we would like to continue to improve on our fitness level and team chemistry.”
Johnson State finished last season with a 5-10-1 overall record playing in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC). They play a completely different schedule than the Fighting Saints because of the difference in conference. This makes it difficult for each team to judge one another. The last time the two teams met was in 2011, when the Badgers beat College of St. Joseph 2-1 in an overtime game.