The Ravens kicked off their season with a bang, putting up an impressive 3-1-1 record. After their first week of play, they currently sit in first place in the conference. As they continue to build and ready themselves for HCAC action, they will look to keep their momentum going in the right direction.
One thing that has really stood out for the men’s team early is their offense. Sophomore Wes Erny was named the HCAC Offensive Player of the Week, tallying four goals and three assists through the Ravens’ first five games.
“I am very honored,” Erny said about the award. “It feels good, but I couldn’t have done it without my team around me. It was a team effort.”
Senior Jacob Pokorski has also been playing well recording four goals and five assists. Junior Race Williams has added three goals, and juniors Daniel Collins and Noah Keller have each scored twice already this season.
The offensive onslaught has truly been something to see early in the year for the Ravens. The team is averaging 3.2 goals per game while allowing just 1.8 per game in return.
“I like that we have been possessing the ball more than we did last year, and we have been really dangerous on offense,” said Erny.
Due to their hot start, specifically on offense, the team is on pace to break their season single goals record of 53. They have also dominated time of possession over their opponents up to this point in the season.
Coach Scott Fridley has always challenged his players by putting together a very tough non-conference schedule. He says that this helps better prepare his players for the stronger teams in their conference. Fridley praised the early performance of the Ravens and likes their chances going forward.
“We have the chance to have one of the better offensive teams we’ve ever had,” said Fridley. “We have an older team, so we should hopefully see a good amount of leadership from our upperclassmen.”
“The strength of our team is our midfield, we’ve changed formations, so they’re just learning to play together in that formation, but I like what I’ve seen so far,” added Fridley.
The team hasn’t been flawless in their early action. They have a shortage of defenders this season, forcing some players to play in positions completely new to them. Sophomore center back Drew Sonnefeldt is no exception. After playing last season primarily in midfield, Sonnefeldt was asked to switch to a new position this year.
“I think that we are playing a lot better on defense than we did at the beginning of the year. With a couple more tweaks and a little more communication, we will be at our top form hopefully within a couple of games,” said Sonnefeldt.
The Ravens will play in four more non-conference games as they gear up for HCAC play. Even though they are far from a finished product, the team firmly believes that they can make a splash in the end-of-year conference tournament.
“Our goal as a team is to make it to the conference tournament and then eventually to the national tournament,” added Sonnefeldt.
“We play a hard non-conference schedule to best prepare ourselves for the conference season and beyond,” said Fridley. “In order to be the best, you have to beat the best, and that’s what we are trying to do.”
Despite the strong non-conference schedule, the Ravens have exceeded expectations with their only loss coming in overtime against Depauw. They will continue to battle the rainy conditions tonight against Thomas More College, as their streak of seven consecutive home games continues.