Sports

Men’s club soccer struggles in second half this season

A common theme has triggered the men’s club soccer team’s five losses over its last six games.

Central Michigan comes out flat after halftime.

The team has started four of those five losses in a 0-0 first–half stalemate. In all five games, CMU’s opponents have had success offensively in the second half.

CMU has been outscored 10–0 after halftime in five losses.

Even when they win they have no offense in the second half, tallying two goals after halftime in the three victories. CMU did outscore their opponents 8-0 in the first half of those victories.

Brandon Hall, the club team president, said they fail offensively when too many passes are made before taking shots.

“We’re trying to do too much,” he said. “You can’t score the ball, if you are not shooting the ball.”

Defensively, Hall said there needs to be fewer mental breakdowns.

Junior defender Craig Spring elaborated further. He said counter attacks by the opponent have been the problem.

“We’re just getting caught off guard with the balls over the top,” Spring said. “They already have the momentum going, so we have to turn around.”

Spring said the midfielders need to do a better job of dropping back when the opposing team charges forward.

“That’s usually the problem,” he said. “We don’t have many people coming back and helping us out while we’re trying our best to hold the play up, so that we can gather the ball and attack.”

CMU plays its last two games of the season against Western Michigan and Valparaiso at Kalamazoo Sunday.

The team lost 3-1 against Grand Valley State Sunday at the CMU club sports soccer field.  In the second half, it was much of the same. They allowed a goal that lengthened GVSU’s lead and were unable to score.

Hall, a senior, still hopes to finish .500, although he said he’s frustrated because he considers CMU to be better than previously faced teams, though the results do not show it.

Hall also pointed out this is the first-year the club team has had a head coach in his four years with the team.

The new coach, Reza Saffarian, has brought in new set pieces and plays.

Spring brushed off the idea that they have failed in the second half as a result of fatigue because of the drills Saffarian has had the team do.

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