The University of Central Arkansas Men’s Soccer program has already had a busy offseason and it’s not even two weeks into the semester.
Over the Christmas break, the program released Associate Head Coach Ryan Webb and Assistant Coach Michael Brown, both of whom were looking for new challenges in their coaching careers.
Junior striker Wes Carson said he was sad to see these individuals leave the program, but knew it was in the interest of moving the program forward.
“It’s a tough loss for the program, but the changes made look to be positive,” he said. “The goal is to move the program forward and for that to happen, changes need to be incorporated.”
The team finished last season 2-15-1, and made an early exit from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Frustrations began to mount as far back as two seasons ago when the team had a few stagnant seasons in a row.
“This program has a positive future,” said alumni Daylon Schiffel. “These changes have invigorated the players they are once again excited to prepare for the upcoming season.”
Schiffel, who is training with the team for part of the spring semester to prepare for professional tryouts, says he enjoys the new life that the changes have brought to the entire team.
With results not going the way the Bears prepared for them to go, new ways of implementing training tactics was the decision that was made. With all of the players spending time in the weight room and on the practice field, as well as the classroom, all of the players said they wanted to start winning games.
Sophomore goalkeeper Harrison Veith said, “It’s frustrating to work hard every day and not get the results in the game. The team never quit and we always worked hard. Hopefully the changes in the staff can be that final piece that we need.”
There was no animosity from anyone and the players wished the best of luck to both Webb and Brown whereever their future takes them.
The team will continue the offseason by working hard in the gym and on the field to prepare for next fall.
They will play games this spring against Missouri State, Memphis, Oral Roberts, Ouachita Baptist and John Brown. They will end by playing the UCA Alumni.
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 20, 2016 print edition of The Echo.
image via UCA Sports