Tuesday and Thursday nights under the stadium lights of the intramural field behind Moody Coliseum, one of SMU’s most winningest teams meet to practice. The practice squad of about 25 to 30 players makes up the SMU Men’s Club Soccer team.
The team has a perfect record on their season so far with 13 wins, no ties and no losses. In fact, the team has yet to trail a single minute in over 1,100 minutes of soccer. The team is made up of six first-years, five sophomores, two juniors and a few seniors and graduate students.
“It has been a truly awesome feeling leading this group of guys to such a successful season. We have had such a great turnaround from last year and I have to attribute it all to the commitment and hard work of the boys this year,” said Head Coach Cryus Mansoori, who is a senior Mechanical Engineering and Economics major in his free time.
One of the more unique aspects that come from being a club team instead of a varsity team is that the coach is also a student. In fact, Mansoori will sometimes join his team on the field.
“Overall our team is very laid back and we have great chemistry,” said freshman Chad Solomon, a player on the team.
While the team does not have a spring season, they will have try-outs for next season in the fall 2015. Mansoori encourages interested students to be on the look out for the date because the team is always looking for talented players. However, this is a serious team. Most players have either been playing from a young age or transferred to SMU from schools where they played in Division 1 through 3 soccer programs.
On top of the team’s extremely impressive win record, the team has received a bid to play in the national championship after winning their regional bracket. They beat Texas A&M;, the number one club team in the region, in the finals.
The team will travel to Memphis on Nov 19 to compete against 23 other teams for the National Championship. While the practice roster has between 25 and 30 players, the actual game roster has closer to 20 players, and these are the players who will be traveling to Tennessee.
It has been an exhilarating season for all the young men on the team, but it has also been a very exciting season for their fans.
“The men’s team has been really impressive this season. They’ve worked really hard to make it to nationals and they deserve to win,” said first-year Women’s Club Soccer player Nikki Chavanelle.
These young men know what it takes to be champions and they are hungry for their next win. After a season like this, it is hard to imagine them as anything other than a family, able to understand their teammates so well, that they are unstoppable on the field.
“They are very dedicated and it means a lot to them. They are like a family,” said Chavanelle, a fan of the men’s team.
This team has caught the attention of many of the students on campus.
“I didn’t even really know we had a team, but now I can’t wait to see how the team does in Memphis,” said junior Alex Ringhoffer.
The players are understandably excited about a win in Memphis and remain hopeful that they can finish with a completely undefeated season. However, the team isn’t taking themselves too seriously.
“Matt Montsinger also wanted me to say that he is by far the greatest center-back in the SMU Club Soccer team’s illustrious 6 year history,” Mansoori said.