soccer storyTexas Wesleyan soccer on both the men’s and women’s sides has gotten off to a good start and hopes to qualify for postseason play.
Coach Tyler Powell, now in his third season, has taken the men’s team to a 8-1-1 record in first 10 matches and 2-0 record in the opening year for the Rams in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
Senior Ivan Kovacevic of Kakanj, Bosnia, leads the squad with 26 points on nine goals with eight assists. Junior David Hagen of St. Albans, Herts, United Kingdom, has nine points with four goals scored. Denis Ushakov and Denis Kovacevic have seven points each through matches of Oct. 4.
Goalkeeper Arnold Martinez of Waco, Texas, has helped the Rams hold onto 21st place nationally as a team in goals allowed and has part of four shutouts in the early going.
For women’s coach Josh Gibbs, the Lady Rams jumped out to a 5-0-2 start and lost their first match of the season in double overtime on Oct. 1 to Oklahoma Baptist.
Wesleyan is getting solid production from senior Jessica Watton, a senior from Royal Oak, Mich., who is coming off ACL surgery in 2012 and has seven goals to pace the team with 15 total points. Next in points for the Lady Rams is sophomore Shareh Asadi of Arlington, Texas, with 11. Junior Alexis Michaelkovich of Colorado Springs, Colo., adds 10 points.
Freshman goalie Nicki Lockwood of Arlington already is eighth in NAIA national statistics with less than .5 goal allowed each contest, and the team is No. 8 nationally with four shutouts (all by Lockwood) in the first eight matches.
The women’s team, which has been ranked as high as 22nd in the country this year, started the year with just one goal surrendered in the first sex matches.
The Wesleyan men have achieved a school-record NAIA ranking of No. 18 and are looking for a spot in postseason activity.
“The national rankings have been a plus for the program,” Powell said. “We need to keep up the intensity and continue to play good defense.”
“We had a tough loss to Oklahoma Baptist last week,” Gibbs stated. “We are hoping to bounce back and play better. The Sooner Athletic Conference is one of the best women’s NAIA conferences nationally, so we have some challenges and opportunities.”