The University of Indianapolis men’s soccer team began their season Sept. 2 with a 3-1 win over Lake Erie College, according to UIndy Athletics. According to Head Men’s Soccer Coach Gabe Hall, the team’s success comes from their constant competitive nature and the expectation to win that has been put on the team for years now.
“[Winning] has been the expectation for the last 10 years here, and nothing’s really changed,” Hall said. “Our expectation is we’re one of the top teams in the region. And if we can be one of the top teams in the region, we’re fighting for a national championship. And it’s step by step, right? It doesn’t just happen overnight, and it’s not a straight line. But we have a really competitive team and a team that’s bought into that mentality and that expectation of we’re here to compete to win every day.”
Senior midfielder Michael Tselios said the team’s goal has always been to win in the four years he has played for the team. He said this year’s team is doing a great job of achieving that goal through their leadership and shared goals.
“I’ve been here for four years, every year we have to come here with a winning mentality,” Tselios said. “I think all the guys are doing a great job with that. We have winners in the team and leaders.”
The environment at practices is constantly challenging and competitive, according to Tselios. Even though everyone is competing with each other to be the best, he said, the team stays positive and are supportive of each other.
“It’s always positive and very, very challenging every time,” Tselios said. “Everybody wants to be the best player in practice.”
This year is Hall’s second year as head coach, and he said this team is different from last year’s because the team gets along so well. He said they all want to win for each other, which keeps them motivated and moving in the same direction.
Hall said leadership takes many forms in this year’s team. He said there are vocal leaders, those who lead by example and those who make practices and games fun. It is important, according to Hall, to have all of these types of leaders on the team and that they all have important, unique roles to play.
“We’ve obviously got some guys that are leaders in the vocal sense, guys that drive the training, they drive the team in the game,” Hall said. “We’ve got a good set of guys that lead by example … And then and then we have another group that I think gets kind of lost in the group that kind of keeps it fun and a little bit a little bit loose, because they’re just they’ve got good character. They just want to have a little bit of a laugh at times … And I think that’s really important because we get some guys that are very serious and sometimes you just need that to break up those moments.”
According to Hall, the team’s biggest goals moving forward into the rest of their season are to win the regular season conference title, to fight in the GLVC championship and hopefully make a run in the NCAA tournament.
“It’s week by week, but we can find success game by game. If we’re doing all the little things that we want to do as a program, that’s going to help us have success game by game,” Hall said. “I think the big goals are always to compete to win the conference regular season, compete to win the conference tournament and then make a run in the NCAA Tournament. Right, and that’s always going to be the goal or the ambition here.”