By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Man, it’s sure been a fantastic start to the 2016 campaign for the Men of the Corban University Soccer Team.
Not just that they are ranked Nationally at #20 in all of NAIA, they’re a perfect 5-0 on the season.
Shutout wins against Division-III Linfield College (1-0) and Willamette University (3-0).
Both shutouts awarded to Jordan Farr who’s bolstering a 0.80 Goals Allowed Average with 17 saves five games into the season as Farr looks to carry momentum from his successful 2015 campaign into 2016.
Timur Zhividze scored two of his seven season goals to this very point to help the Warriors go-ahead and defeated NAIA competition in Embry-Riddle 2-1. Zhividze’s 85th minute goal, his second of the game, was one of his three game-winners for Corban.
Despite having some guys move into newer roles this season, Head Coach Aaron Lewis knew that the core group of players he has had stepped up hugely entering Cascade Collegiate Conference play this weekend.
“I think that this team has a core group of players that know how to get results, and they were able to help us find ways to overcome good competition, travel, and conditions to get wins in Arizona,” started Lewis. “Sometimes just finding a way to get a positive result can lift a team’s confidence, and can boost performances down the road.
“Personally I believe we grinded out the first few wins, but now our confidence is brimming and it showed in our last match versus Willamette.”
Lewis spoke highly of Zhividze and how he has help improved their attacking on the offensive front, but he is very happy with how his team has improved outside of Zhividze.
“Our attack has improved in several facets led by the addition of Timur Zhividze. I am also impressed with the steady improvement from our overall team defense throughout our pre-season,” said Lewis. “Our goals against have either improved or stayed the same in every game so far this year, and that is something I am very proud of.
With the goals of challenging for a CCC-Title, qualifying and advancing deep into the NAIA playoffs, the start has re-affirmed to Lewis that they are indeed on the right track of doing that when they face off against the University of Great Falls (1-2, Friday, 1pm) and Carroll College (2-2, Saturday, 1pm) at Warrior Field.
“Mainly the start confirms we are on the right track,” said Lewis. “If we don’t build off of the start it really means nothing, but I am thankful to know that our team realizes that and is motivated to improve on each performance.”
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