After defeating Augusta University in their first match of the spring season, GC men’s club soccer team looks to carry this momentum into a schedule defined by tough Division I matchups against Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern.
Central midfielder and team captain Chandler New emphasized focus as the team plans to play against ahead to the two Division I giants.
“Georgia Southern is definitely going to be a hard game, and Georgia Tech will be even tougher,” New said. “They’re both two of the top teams in the southeast. We just have to go out with a good mindset and play hard the whole game.”
The team had its first taste of success against heavyweight opponents when it made it to the national tournament and defeated LSU during Fall 2018.
“It feels really good knowing they have about five times the kids that we do,” New said. “That was a great win.”
Missing out on the national tournament the previous year made the Fall 2018 trip to Alabama that much sweeter for the team.
“It was a big success for us because we didn’t get in the year before,” New said. “We got to travel to Foley, Alabama, and play three teams from around the nation. That was just an awesome experience.”
Center back and team captain Christopher Shue said he looks back on the Fall 2018 national tournament as a memorable experience, on and off the pitch.
“It was really special,” Shue said. “It was great traveling down there with the team, all staying in one hotel. On the field, I think it helps us grow as a program, seeing how these other teams are run. It’s hard playing against a school [LSU] that’s big, but we really did well.”
Defensive midfielder Bradley Gavrielides said he appreciated the level of competitiveness the tournament provided.
“That was really fun,” Gavrielides said. “We always got good competition and different types of players that we’re not used to playing.”
The team is also working on acclimating a number of new players into the fold as the spring season gets underway.
“We have a few new starters on the team,” New said. “It’s a little difficult at times, but after a few practices, everyone got to know each other. We fit in really well, and it’s almost like [a] second family.”
Social media has been integral in the team’s attempt to attract more supporters across GC.
“We’re getting the word out there to the school and able to communicate with fans, students and supporters much better than previously,” Shue said.
The growth of the team has yielded financial as well as fan support. With new jerseys, the team has a new and improved look this spring.
“This year, that’s something special that we have,” Shue said. “We are always looking for ways to improve the program, and that was a big step for us.”
The team travels to Savannah to take on Armstrong State on March 2.
Top photo courtesy of Christopher Shue
Bottom photo courtesy of GC Sports Information