Men’s soccer in a must-win position

The men’s soccer team is preparing to potentially earn a spot in this year’s national tournament.

The University of Utah will be hosting the regional tournament, which precedes nationals, on Oct. 26 and 27. The winner of this tournament will earn a spot to play for a national championship, something Weber State accomplished last season.

That is last year, but this year Ben Holms believes the team has what it takes to win it all.

“I feel like we have an amazing chance to go to nationals this year,” Holms said.

At the beginning of this month, the team went toe-to-toe with BYU, losing a close game to the Cougars. Although the outcome wasn’t what the Wolverines wanted, they played well and have built upon that effort.

They went on to beat Weber State, last year’s national champions, by playing great defense and controlling possession. UVU won 1-0.

“I felt like we played alright,” Holms said. “It definitely wasn’t our best game. We had our moments where we played well. We had more shots on goal and penetrated more then they did and we finished the game.”

Following that victory, they suffered a tough setback to the Utes, losing 2-1. The loss itself doesn’t tell the full story. Utah scored early on a penalty kick and took a 1-0 lead into the half. The Wolverines came out strong and equalized before Utah took the lead for good.

“I felt like we won the game,” Holms said. “We just didnt have enough points.”

The Wolverines were a few unlucky breaks away from beating Utah for a second time this season. They had several shots on goal bounce off the goalposts and came up empty on a couple of corner opportunities.

Execution will be key if the Wolverines want to win the regional tournament and play for a national title. That isn’t the only thing that UVU can improve upon before the tournament begins.

Holm said that chemistry and communication are things the team can do better as well as “having the confidence that we are the team that played well versus BYU.”

Considering there are only four returning players from last year’s squad, the fact that this team is in a position to win the regional tournament this weekend comes as impressive to even themselves.

“The things that we have done this year have been amazing,” Holms said.

A national championship would be a great way to exit the club level before they become a scholarship team in the 2014 season. What a way that would be to enter the Western Athletic Conference.

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