SALEM, Ore.—The 17th-ranked Corban University Men’s Soccer team can rest their hats on something specula coming off the Willamette University Sparks Field following their 17-3-1 2015 campaign.
The Warriors started off the season 11-for-11 in the win column en route to hosting their first ever playoff win. Their offense scored 45 goals and their defense permitted 13, a ratio of around 3:1 in favor of Corban.
As they entered the Cascade Collegiate Conference, six Warriors were named to the All-CCC team with another named to the Honorable Mention Team. Kellen Luey was then named to the CoSIDA All-America Team, his second in his career and first ever Corban athlete to do so.
The team fought in the Cascade Collegieate Conference tournament against the seventh-ranked Northwest and took a third-ranked Great Falls team to penalty kicks en route to hosting a playoff-game.
“It means a lot,” said Third-Year Head Coach Aaron Lewis on the accomplishments of 2015. “A lot of that credit goes to the four seniors that are leaving tonight; they’ve all been with the program for at least three years so I’m just proud for them.”
For senior James Williamson, it’s hard to put words to this season. From the guy’s he played with this year to the amazing community, Williamson knows the difficulties to put his thoughts into words.
“You can’t put words to it,” he said. “It’s been a lot of hard work. A lot of blood, a lot of sweat, a lot of tears. A lot of overcoming injuries, overcoming a mountains of obstacles to get here. That’s what everything we’ve worked for.
“There are really no words to describe the joy that I was able to have shared with these guys for my senior night, for my senior year,” Williamson continued. “It just sucks to go out this way.”
The squad showed fight down 2-0 against the seventh-seeded Biola Eagles to cut the lead in half and didn’t quit as the final whistle blew on the 3-1 defeat on the cold night on November 21.
For sophomore goalkeeper Jordan Farr, it started with the seniors he said.
Tim Kagey, Kellen Lucy, Mitch Graham and Williamson; all laid a foundation even before they started touching the ball in August.
“Every year they’ve came back, even before this year they were always the motivators and made sure our team was solid before we started touching the ball,” Farr said.
“That translates all the way to the final game like today. It really took a lot out of us today but these guys left a legacy that’s we need to continue, we have big shoes we need to fill.”
Moving forward to the 2016, with the foundation put into place by these seniors; the Warriors will look to carry the momentum into the offseason.
To build from this season’s success with their incoming freshman and the strong nucleus that they have coming back and to look beyond the NAIA First-Round Opener defeat.
“There’s a lot of momentum still moving forward,” said Lewis. “It’s just a little hard to see that right now coming off of a disappointing result.”
For Farr, a mixture of the messages that the seniors have left and their faith in God and Christ will help them moving into the offseason and focus on getting back to the NAIA Playoffs in 2016.
“Our team, our structure and our culture will never change and that’s God first and representing Christ and everything we do,” he said. “The seniors foundation lies that with us with the freshman this year and we hope to keep carrying that through next year and I hope to be help in any way I can.”
For Williamson, reflecting on his time at Corban University as he ends his senior season, shared some thoughts for the Corban Warriors of 2016:
Practice like it’s your last day and play every as if it is your last because you don’t know what the next day is going to bring.
“Four years goes by in a blink of an eye,” said Williamson. “So don’t take anything for granted, put in the work every day to make it happen.”
GK Jordan Farr
D Tim Kagey
F Quamie Dinnall
D Kemar Prince
D James Williamson
MF Armando Guevara
F Nathaniel Cheney
CoSIDA All-America Team
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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