After falling to Parkside University in the GLIAC Championship 2-1 on Nov. 17, the men’s soccer season ended 13-6-1.
With a new head coach, Louis Barrow, the Cardinals’ season record was better than its 2018 GLIAC Championship team record of 11-3-6.
SVSU also finished with a 10-4 record in GLIAC games.
Barrow said he was happy with his team’s performance.
“The season went well, as expected – 13-6-1 is no poor record, but we can definitely do better come next fall,” he said.
He said he enjoyed coaching a new team during his first season.
“The most exciting part of my season was meeting all the new players and watching everyone come together,” he said.
The team started its season Sept. 6 with a 2-0 win vs. McKendree in Indianapolis, followed by a 2-1 loss in overtime to Indianapolis on Sept. 8.
SVSU went on to win four of its next six games, which also included a 0-0 tie against Tiffin on Sept. 13.
Following a loss to Parkside on Oct. 4, the Cardinals won three straight games, with its streak ending in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Davenport.
SVSU won its final four games of the regular season, allowing the team to earn the second overall seed in the GLIAC tournament as well as a first-round bye.
After beating Davenport 3-2 in the GLIAC semi-final game, the Cardinals fell to Parkside in the GLIAC Championship.
Three players for the Cardinals were named to the GLIAC All-Tournament team – senior midfielder Connor Rutz, freshman Forward Kairo Coore and senior defenseman Gustavo Bergmann.
During the season, SVSU was successful at holding its opponents out of the net as the team shut-out its opponents seven times during its 20-game schedule.
The Cardinals were only scoreless three times this season.
One of the most impressive storylines from the season was the Cardinals’ win against Northwood in both counted meetings, which was a first for the Cardinals.
Rutz led the Cardinals in goals this season with 10. This was good enough for the second-most goals by one player in the GLIAC.
Rutz also led the team in points and was second in the GLIAC for that stat as well. Freshman forward Kairo Coore tied for the third most goals scored by any player in the GLIAC this season. He also was top five in points among all players in the GLIAC.
Junior goalie Mason Maziasz was also strong this season.
He had the third-least amount of goals scored against him, was fifth in goals against him per game and was fifth in save percentage.
As a whole, the Cardinals were one of the most balanced teams all season, finding the net multiple times in nearly every game.
The team also had a defense and goalie who could keep the other team off the board.
SVSU finished its season ranked as the number 10 team in the region.
Barrow said putting a cohesive team together this season was essential to the Cardinals’ success.
“To pretty much build a new team allowed for a fresh environment when players got to prosper,” he said.
Next season however, starting from scratch will not be necessary, as only three of the team’s 23 players are graduating before next season – defenseman Wladimir Babaew, defenseman Gustavo Bergmann and Rutz.