The WIU Men’s Soccer season is almost over. They have endured a season full of tough and intense games. Head Coach Eric Johnson is finishing up his 17th season here at Western Illinois University and he is very positive about the close of this season.
While the team’s record is 5-11, it does not accurately reflect the hard work and the milestones the team has reached this season. “Last year we graduated a good class…it’s been a real process to find the right niche,” said Coach Johnson. The year’s team has worked hard to get to the point they are at now. This season, the starting line-up typically includes seven (out of 11) underclassmen and four of those are freshmen. Having a young team has proven to be challenging at first, but nothing the team could not handle.
“The team has developed into a good group…they are getting to know each other better,” said Coach Johnson. Once the team found their groove, their field presence became a lot tighter. It’s “crunch time” as Coach Johnson put it. There is only one game left in the season. The team has entered the League Tournament, and has also qualified for the Conference Tournament.
“A defining moment for this season was the Eastern Illinois University game. It was 1-0; a nice goal was made a minute before the half…we came back 3-1. The momentum and emotion since then has been great,” said Coach Johnson. With moments such as this, the team is clearly destined for success. With the experiences of this year the team is sure to use their experience as fuel for next season to dominate on the field.
“I’m extremely proud of them. The older guys make the younger ones feel important…they don’t quit. Nobody has ever put their head down and quit. That defines the team; they’re not going to quit,” expressed Coach Johnson.
The team’s final regular season game is scheduled for tomorrow, here in Macomb at 1PM. We all wish them luck! To keep up with the scores and the close of the season, as always, you can find their information and all other Fighting Leatherneck information at goleathernecks.com. Go ‘Necks!