The TCU men’s club soccer team won its region in the regular season and advanced to the Region IV Tournament, where play will start today in Lubbock.The team’s first regular season ended at 6-1-1 to win the Lone Star North Men’s region, part of the Texas Collegiate Soccer League, said team president Micah Munekata.
Twelve teams will play in the tournament, including three teams from Louisiana, Munekata said, a junior political science major.
TCU’s first opponent will be Texas Tech, the tournament host, at 6 p.m. today.
Defender Smith Ferguson said he does not think playing away will affect the game, considering only two regular season games were played at home.
“We’re playing some big name schools, but I don’t really know what to expect,” said Ferguson, a sophomore kinesiology major.
None of the players know anything specific about their opponents, but Munekata and Alvaro Saenz, the team’s vice president, agree that the competition will be tough.
“They will be better built teams than the ones we played to qualify,” Saenz said.
Munekata said the team has made many improvements on both sides of the ball.
“The defense picks up who their best player is and bothers them,” Munekata said.
On offense, Munekata said, “Finishing, percentage-wise, is the biggest improvement of the season.”
He said the team had some trouble scoring goals at the beginning of the season, but now players make the most of their opportunities to score, even if the team only gets a few chances per game.
To Saenz, one player on TCU’s defense stands out.
“Smith (Ferguson) is our best defender,” Saenz said. “He’s very intense and aggressive.”
Ferguson said the improvements continue to come as the team plays together longer.
“With the defense, we all know what to expect out of each other,” he said, “Some (players) are aggressive and others are consistent.”
With these combined factors, Munekata said the team is ready for this weekend.
The top two teams at the tournament will qualify for the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association Championship Tournament, Nov. 17-19 at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala.