Men’s soccer on winning streak

Written by: Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor

Men’s soccer is having a smashing start to their season. After going three and two in the preseason, the team did not let this stop them. Starting conference play with a 1-1 tie against the University of Simon Fraser, British Coloumbia, men’s soccer quickly bounced back and are now on a win streak of six — three of these six games were shutouts. 

These wins come as a massive improvement from the 2022 season, where the team had only two wins compared to 13 losses and two ties. This improved record means higher points on season; giving the team 21 points on the season thus far. This is 11 points higher than their total of eight points from last season. 

Freshman Center Back, Olaolowua Balogun, attributed the team’s success to the tight-knit environment the team has.

“We’re like a family and do everything together and no one’s left out,” he said. “Our coach treats us like family, like he’s our dad.” 

Head Coach Michael Behonick started his first year of coaching for Western this season. Previously, Belhonick spent seven seasons as the assistant coach for the University of Pittsburgh men’s soccer team.

Balogun has high hopes for the team this season. “I see us winning GNAC and going to playoffs and going far and better things to come,” he said. Western’s men’s soccer has recently had a limited history in terms of GNAC competition — only officially becoming an intercollegiate team in the 2022 fall season.

“We had recruits come over and we treated everyone as family, even if we didn’t know who the person was, it’s a good environment to be in and everyone’s welcome,” Balogun said.

Against Western Washington University this last Thursday, men’s soccer won 2-1, officially bringing their win streak up to six. Both of Western’s goals were scored in the first 20 minutes of play and within five minutes of each other.

Junior transfer, Gabriel Silva, scored off an assist from Sophomore, Alex Gringon, and Junior, Andres Labate. Five minutes later, it was Gringon who scored the final goal for the team, assisted by Junior, Moises Cisneros, and Freshman, Yahir Ocampo.

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