After completing two scrimmages Aug. 20 and 22 against Western Nebraska Community College and Hastings College at Auraria Field, the Metro men’s soccer team is ready for the upcoming season.
Even though NCAA rules prohibit keeping score and posting the results, Head Coach Ken Parsons said the Roadrunners are at a higher level than at this point than last season.
“The players came in this season, and they did a really good job preparing themselves physically, as far as fitness. I thought the recruits that have come in are doing a good job. I think they were very well prepared for the college game,” Parsons said.
Metro was picked third in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference preseason coaches’ poll, behind Colorado School of Mines and Fort Lewis College.
Midfielder Steven Emory said he believes the team doesn’t really need to adjust anything, other than getting used to playing with new players.
“We have a lot of young guys now, so just keep practicing, keep playing together and it’ll come together, and hopefully it will work for the season,” Emory said.
Emory is a senior this year and was named Preseason Player of the Year. The Fort Collins native earned the honors last season, as well as RMAC Player of the Year and Central Region Player of the Year.
Emory wants to lead his team by working hard and hopes his teammates will follow his positive attitude and work ethic. He is hoping to have a good senior year while guiding the Roadrunners to the NCAA Tournament.
“Steven [Emory] is a great leader as far as experience and what he does on the field,” Parsons said. “He’s a guy that’s a good communicator, as well. The captains are kind of a segue between the players and the coaches, and I think he does a good job articulating the game.”
The men’s team added nine players to their roster: five freshman, one sophomore and three transfers coming from Division I schools.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Mejia is one of those Division I recruits. Mejia, a Littleton native, attended the University of San Diego for one year and redshirted as a freshman. He came back to Colorado because he wanted to be closer to home.
“Great pick up for us,” Parsons said of Mejia. “He’s a player that had an opportunity to play at a Division I school. Unfortunately, for him, things didn’t work out there. But fortunately, for us, things didn’t work out there for him because we picked up a great player.”
Mejia said he thinks the squad is working hard and is heading in the right direction.
“I think we got a good team,” Mejia said. “I think we should be able to get pretty deep in the NCAA Tournament and maybe win RMAC.”
Along with Mejia, Morgan Maestas and Stephen Zipprich transferred from San Diego State University and Santa Clara University, respectively.
The Roadrunners will begin their regular season on the road in North Dakota Sept. 3 and 5 against the University of Mary and Upper Iowa. They will come home for a five-game home stand starting Sept. 10 against Seattle Pacific.
But first they will play their annual alumni game Aug. 29 at Auraria Field.
“It’s always fun because you get to see the guys you played with before, and it’s a good time,” Emory said about the alumni game. “It’s a competition because they want to beat us, and they want to see who’s coming out, so it’s a lot of fun.”
The NCAA also prohibits the players and coaches from commenting on any specific part of the scrimmage, according to Andy Schlicthing, Metro’s Sports information director.