By Antonia Lopez
Trevecca’s men’s soccer team began the 2023 season optimistic in hopes of competing in conference play and developing players’ abilities both on and off the field.
Danny Leavy, head coach, is confident in the skillset found in this year’s roster and has high hopes to succeed in the postseason as well as in conference match-ups.
“The team I have this year is strong enough to compete with any other team in our conference. That’s the exciting thing,” Leavy said.
Leavy’s team mentality is important to those who are a part of the program, and that leadership standard is set by Zachary Polk, the team’s captain.
Polk has been the captain for two years and is a tremendous leader among his peers, according to Leavy. Polk leads his team through being present for his teammates and through leading by example on and off the field, he said.
Polk also acknowledges the talent found in the team through development of players this year.
“This is my fifth year at Trevecca, and I can honestly say that this year we have the best team that we have ever had. We have a lot of good freshmen and players that we have kept over the years and who have developed,” Polk said.
Polk finished off last season as a starter in all 17 games played and was a key defensive player for the Trojans.
Leavy has a clear goal in mind for the rest of the season.
“Our goal this year is to qualify for the GMAC conference tournament, which is very difficult to do,” he said.
Polk has the same vision for the rest of the season.
“We should get really far in the playoffs this year as long as we start scoring some goals and putting the ball at the back of the net,” he said.
As the season advances, excitement builds for the continuation of the season. The Trojans will be playing their next four games at home.
Trevecca’s new women’s soccer head coach seeks to generate a new team mindset and create a foundation for the program as the 2023 season begins.
“We want our team to have long-term goals in mind while also making it a positive experience for the seniors, but also helping them realize they are setting a foundation for the next class that comes through,” said Nathan Harrell, the head coach.
Harrell finds unity, family culture, direct communication and accountability to be key for the team to be successful this season. Harrell joined Trevecca’s program in February of 2023 and has added two more coaches to the staff as well as various recruits.
As this year’s captains, Taylor Loftus, Skye Baun and Hayden Collins embody the senior leadership that Harrell hopes to set as an example. These players’ mindset and attitude towards the team and willingness to grow and learn makes them stand out as leaders, said Harrell.
Loftus focuses her leadership as captain in being open to being vulnerable with her teammates. She hopes to set an example to other players and also make sure to check in on others both on and off the field, she said.
“I am very optimistic regarding our new team mentality and how we are going to be able to overcome these challenges that come with transition as a team,” Loftus said.
Both Harrell and Loftus have high hopes for postseason play.
“We always set out to win, and we want to be able to do that. My goal is to make it to the conference post-season and then take steps forward to try to improve from last season’s results,” said Harrell.
Loftus aspires to be able to make it to tournament play this season.
“Historically, we have made it to the quarter finals and the semifinals in the GMAC conference. It would be a goal to make it to the finals and hopefully win that game or be ranked regionally so we can make the tournament,” Loftus said.
The Lady Trojans are currently third in GMAC conference standings and will be playing their next four games at home.