PNW men’s soccer walks away with third straight victory

PNW men’s soccer won 2-1 against Cardinal Stritch University in double overtime on Oct. 11.

The team now holds a 6-4-3 overall record and a 4-1-2 conference record. The victory against Cardinal Stritch University was their third Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference win in a row.

Ryan Hayes, head coach, said that he plans to build off this win since he thinks the team has finally found their rhythm.

“With 15 out of 27 new guys to the squad it has taken a while to find the right combinations, but we are getting a lot closer,” Hayes said.

The team has three returning seniors this year, Jawayne Spence, Sergio Reyes and Kwesi Annoh. Twelve out of the 15 new players on the PNW men’s soccer team are freshmen.

Alec Guarino, freshman biology major and forward, leads the team in scoring with six total goals and 12 points for the season. Chris Rassel, junior hospitality and tourism management major and midfielder, leads the team in assists with six. Miguel David, senior mechatronics engineering major and goalkeeper, leads the team with 24 saves.

Hayes said a key issue that always needs to be addressed is minimizing mistakes.

“Minimize mistakes and make plays,” Hayes said. “The more you can do this, the more good moments you will create. The more good moments you create, the more wins you will achieve.”

Murilo Cunha, junior mechatronics engineering major, said that the team will be in a good spot if they continually work to improve their game.

“We have a good squad, but we have had a tough time scoring goals,” Cunha said. “There’s room for improvement.”

Hayes believes that for the most part, his team has had good consistent habits.

“You always aim to raise the lower end of your performance range so that when you individually have a not-so-good game, it doesn’t have a detrimental impact on the team,” Hayes said. “The team is doing a fine job of working on this.”

Cunha said PNW men’s soccer is aiming to qualify for the playoff tournament and to advance as far as they can.

“With a good squad and a lot of more important matches, I believe we can make a serious run come tournament time,” Cunha said. “I think going to nationals is a realistic goal for us this season.”

PNW men’s soccer lost 1-2 against St. Ambrose University last season in the first round of the CCAC playoffs.

PNW is currently No. 5 in the CCAC. The soccer team will travel to Bridgeview, Illinois on Oct. 15 for their next match against the Roosevelt Lakers.