The Christendom Crusaders soccer team jumped onto the USCAA Coaches’ Poll for Week 1 of the season, beating out Washington Adventist, University of Dallas, and others for the #11 spot in the nation. The Crusaders are off to a strong start so far this season, defeating select teams for the first time and finding a rhythm that has put them on a current six-game winning streak.
“I’m huge on stats, so I compare the goals for and against in the first four games with the second four games: 12-17 and 27-3. What’s so very special about this season is the amount of first year college players we have. With seven first year starters, we knew there was going to be a learning curve, offensively and defensively, but I never would have thought the curve was going to be this sharp,” said head coach Jake Guttierrez.
“I keep thinking we have reached a plateau, but these guys have a never-ending pursuit for improvement. I have never had this many players desire to dive into the details of this sport. Their humility has allowed them to be very coachable,” said Guttierrez
The current six-game streak began with a 4-3 win at Washington Adventist. This was only the second win in soccer program’s history versus the Shock, the first being last year, which made the win that much more special. History was made for the second time with a 5-2 win against Potomac State College last Friday — the first time Christendom has ever beaten Potomac State.
“The amount of heart we put into competing against Potomac State was immense. Look at the next day’s game against Patrick Henry in which, at half time, we were tied 1-1. The catch is, we had played Patrick Henry 7 days prior and we were up 7-0 at half time. The players were physically exhausted and hadn’t recovered yet,” said Guttierrez. “At half time, we came together and I posed a simple question to them: Do you choose to let your body dictate your life, or do you choose to impose your will upon your body and make it do what you choose?”
Within 18 minutes of that talk, the Crusaders put in 3 goals and won the match 6-1.
In addition to the #11 Coaches’ Poll rating, several players are enjoying top individual rankings. Soccer star Pete Day is continuing his strong work from last season, currently ranking #3 in the nation in goals scored and #5 in total points. Rookie sensation James Foeckler sits right behind him on both rankings, coming in at #8 and #13 in both respectively.
The Crusaders are 7-2 overall on their season, and will compete at home on Saturday, October 1, against first time competitor Southern State College. For more information, please visit christendomathletics.com.