Motivated with an ambitious schedule, men’s soccer looks to build upon last season’s success

Eagles head coach John Murphy is entering his third year with the team. 

Kaitlin Sells

The Georgia Southern men’s soccer team kicks off their official season August 24, traveling to Richmond, Virginia to take on Virginia Commonwealth. The Eagles have already had two preseason exhibition matches, both resulting in a win for GS which should give them some momentum going into the official season opener.

The soccer team ended last season with a 9-8-1 record while averaging 1.28 goals per game.

This upcoming season is head coach John Murphy’s third season with the Eagles, and he’s become more confident as he’s been there as the program has grown.

“I feel more comfortable here at Georgia Southern,” Murphy said. “I feel like I know the resources, the manpower that I have available to me.”

This season’s team is a young one as 12 freshmen, 10 sophomores, four juniors, and just four seniors make up the team.

“My two recruiting classes that we’ve had are good ones,” Murphy said. “You start to see the difference on the field now. We’re still young, and that’s the thing that people need to remember.”

The Eagles pushed out a tough schedule for this upcoming season, playing big names like Wake Forest and Louisville.

“We play one of the toughest schedules in the country,” Murphy said. “Of the top ten teams in the country, only one of them had a schedule that was similar to ours in regard to that difficulty of opponents.”

Although their schedule is tough, Murphy is remaining confident.

“We try to take one game at a time,” he said. “I think that’s one of the benefits of a hard schedule. We can’t really afford to take our eye off the ball against any opponent.”

Junior Justin Little from Warner Robins is a captain this season and Murphy seems assured that he’ll be a good team leader this year.

“He epitomizes what we’re looking for here at Georgia Southern,” Murphy said. “He’s a local kid, he’s someone who’s passionate about the school.”

Sophomore Gonzalo Talavera from Madrid, Spain is the other team captain and shows a lot of promise in his second season playing for the Eagles.

“They lead by example,” Murphy said while discussing the captains. “They’re guys that show people the right way by how they act and how they perform. When you have good leadership, I think that can trickle down to other parts of your team.”

This season will be a big and tough season for the Eagles as they look to play higher levels of competition and more difficult brackets of play this year.

“We’ve worked these past few years to build up the program and I think we’ve put ourselves in the position to take the next step,” Murphy said. “It’s going to be a big challenge for all of us but we’re looking forward to it.”

The Eagles will be taking on VCU this coming Friday as their official season opener. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and live stats will be updated on gseagles.com.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Assistant Sports Editor, [email protected]