The UCA men’s soccer team won 6-1 against Tulsa on Aug. 23 at their second and last exhibition game before the start of the season.
The game, played at Union 8th Grade Center field, was a confidence boost for the Bears after losing their first exhibition game. On Aug. 18, the Bears lost against Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a final score of 2-0.
“The belmont game was great for us because it exposed some issues we were having and allowed us to focus on that in the week leading up to Tulsa and I think we did a nice job making adjustments based on those issues and put together a good performance,” said head coach Ross Duncan.
A central midfielder for the Bears, junior Soren Jensen said that UCA had the first goal of the Tulsa game, scored by junior Kasper Anderson.
“Our strikers are hungry for this season and showed that [on Friday],” Jensen said. “Kasper Andersen with a goal, Nicklas Brodacki (senior) with 3 goals and Kyosuke Kabota (junior) with 2 goals in the game, shows we have a lot of different attacking players ready for this upcoming season.”
Duncan also praised the attacking players and is hopeful for what they will bring to the table at the season opening game against Wright State at UCA on Sept. 1.
“We’ve got some great attacking players so we’ve got to get them some chances to score,” Duncan said.
The exhibition games were not only still the beginning of the season, but also the first of many games to be played as part of the Sun Belt Conference.
In an interview for an article about Brodacki’s preseason all-conference recognition, Duncan said that transition away from Missouri Valley Conference shouldn’t be too difficult.
"Competitively, it's going to be very similar. On any given year the Sun Belt could be stronger or the Valley could be stronger, so for us I don't think it's going to be a big jump up or a big jump down,” said Duncan in the article. “The tough part is we only have five [conference] games, so every single game is going to be absolutely vital."
While the transition may be effortless, the team still has plenty of work to do.
“It was a nice scoreline but it wasn’t a perfect performance,” Duncan said. “We’re seeking perfection and I think that it’s a lot to ask, but if we don’t ask for that, then we won’t get it.”
The men’s soccer season will open at home on Friday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m. where they will face Wright State. The Bears will play at home again on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Campbell University at 7 p.m.