By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The last time the Men of Corban University lost a home soccer game was October 10, 2015, a 1-nil defeat to Rocky Mountain College at the now-old Warriors Field at the Corban University campus.
Fast forward two-years and now the Bears are coming back to Salem this Friday, a tad-over two-years since their last meeting in the Beaver State. Now, the two teams are nationally-ranked in the Top 10.
You got the Warriors, 10-0-2 and are sixth-ranked at the National Level versus the really savvy 10th-ranked Bears team that are in the Top 10 in many offensive categories like assist, goals and shots at goal; something that will challenge a Corban defense that has six shutouts and another three one-goal games to their resume.
“I think we have the skill level, I think a big part of it is going come down to just desire and our willingness to make that hard tackle,” starts defender Langdon Roscoe. “To trust one another in other positions because your going to be isolated sometimes, one-on-one…and I think it’s going to come down to grit, I think that’s going to be the difference in this game for us.
“We know Rocky is really talented, so we’re just going to bring out the grit and trust one another in the situations that we face in this game.”
Head Coach Aaron Lewis talked about how the two-teams are very similar in style and would make for a chess-match of sorts to see who will breakdown first to pull away from the other.
“They’re a savvy soccer team, they’re smart, they have a lot of skill,” said Lewis. “Most, a good percentage of the players I should say, are from over-seas. So they’ve grown-up playing the game. They just play the game the right way.
“So we got two teams who have similar styles that want to have the ball, want to dominate possession and break teams down.”
Roscoe, who saw his first taste of a rivalry-like game last year after transferring from Clark College, expects the same this year as it was with the game expecting to be the game in the Cascade Collegiate Conference and ultimately could decide the regular season crown.
“Man, Rocky provides us to face some adversity, I kind of look at it as a rivalry game,” said Roscoe. “Last year, it was a battle between us and when we got to the game and it was sure enough it was exactly what we expected.
“So I think it gives us a opportunity for us to face adversity and face a team that could build from the back like us and build through the middle and I look forward to it a lot because our team usually rises to the occasion.”
The game itself, 4:30pm at the turf at Capital Futbol Complex off of State Street, is something that is exciting to bring a Top 10 battle to the City of Salem.
“It’s super exciting, there’s a lot that goes into getting a game like this, you think of all of the summer work and the Spring season and the preseason and the build-up to get here to this spot in the season that these games mean so much,” said Lewis. “And to be here in Salem with just the support of the city behind our program, it’s exciting.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald