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Accountability key to turning Loper soccer program around

Loper players go through drill work during Monday’s practice. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff

Coming off of a losing season a year ago and having not posted a winning record since 2012, the Loper soccer team opened fall camp motivated to turn the tide.

Something that is apparent in their accountability of one another.

“The players are just rallying around each other,” said coach Rob Breton. “When they’re not doing the things they need to do, they’re ok with having it brought to their attention by one of their teammates so they can say, ‘Hey, this is the standard.'”

The Lopers are coming off of an 0-15-3 season where headlines were made in the preseason due to the revolving door at coach in the spring. Breton was named coach late last spring and now with a full offseason under his belt, expects big things from the Lopers.

“We’re going to fight every single game,” he said. “It’s going to be gritty every time we get an opportunity to play.”

The Lopers return 18 players with four of them garnering all MIAA accolades. These players include Cammie Davis, Raegan Downham, Dolcie Hanlon and Lily Engeman. The Lopers also added eight new additions with three of them, Katie Pagel, Ivana Siles and Rachel Warrick, bringing college playing experience.

Breton also says the new additions share some key traits with the returners.

“They fit the culture that we want,” he said. “They’re very family oriented with a high work drive and a high demand, and they’re not ok with mediocrity.”

The Lopers have also seen leaders emerge from all classes, which is another aspect that coach Breton is pleased with.

“Across the board, everyone is growing,” he said. “The seniors want more, but the sophomore turning into junior class are really starting to be able to say, ‘Ok this is what we want, this is how we’re going to do it.”

The Lopers were picked to finish 11th in the MIAA preseason coaches’ poll.

The Lopers will start their season with an exhibition match against Hastings College on Aug. 20, and will begin the regular season Sept. 2, in Oklahoma against Southern Nazarene.

Coach Rob Breton enters the season seeking his first win with the Lopers. Photo by Traeton Harimon / Antelope Staff
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Traeton Harimon
Traeton Harimon, Sports Editor
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