Men’s soccer undefeated, nationally ranked No. 3


The St. Edward’s University men’s soccer team is 8-0 to start the season.

With a strong season opening, the St. Edward’s University men’s soccer team is currently sporting an undefeated 8-0 overall record, while leading the conference at 4-0.

The cherry on top is that the National Soccer Coaches Association of America has the Hilltoppers ranked No. 1 in the South Central region and No. 3 in a national Division II poll, as of Sept. 27.

“In terms of being undefeated, I think this schedule has been the toughest schedule to play since I’ve been here,” Men’s Soccer Head Coach Brian Young said.

Young said that one of the biggest contributors to the team’s success was their efforts in the spring and their continued practice during the summer. Instead of playing together for about two months out of the year, the team has practiced together for almost a calendar year.

Several players spent their summer playing in the Premier Developmental League, which is immature soccer organized throughout the nation. Senior goalkeeper Kevin Leib, senior midfielder Josh Taylor and junior midfielder Owain Hoskins played in Oklahoma City, and contributed to OKC Energy U23’s 10-3-1 record.

Meanwhile, red-shirted junior midfielder Grant Mobley and brother, junior defender Ty Mobley, senior defender Nate Coons and senior midfielder Jack Blanton played for Midland/Odessa Sockers FC and helped earn a 8-3-3 record.

Once the team regrouped for the fall, St. Edward’s started their season on the road, beating two tough Colorado teams. Playing in a televised match, St. Edward’s pulled off a 2-0 win against Colorado School of Mines, the team that eliminated them in the first round of the playoffs last season.

“Those were massive games,” Blanton said. “Since I’ve been a freshman, we’ve never won our first game of the season… Playing against Colorado Mines is always going to be a tough game … but it was really sweet to get that win, especially on ESPN 3.”

Since then, the team adapted to playing on the road – even for home games, while field renovations prevented St. Edward’s soccer players from practicing or hosting opponents. Two big conference road wins came against rivals Texas A&M-International University and St. Mary’s University.

“If you look at the roster, the team is a bit young in terms of classes, but we have a lot of players that have played a lot of minutes,” Young said. “Because of that, we’re kind of an older team with experience.”

For now, this team with a deep roster is looking to improve on little details and be even more dominant on the field. Several reserve players and freshmen have come off the bench, getting a feel for how the team works.

In their first eight games, St. Edward’s has scored 18 goals, allowing their opponents only two goals. The Hilltopper defense has also managed six shutout victories.

“After we’re done with one game, we want to win the next game,” Young said regarding season goals. “For us, we’re just focusing on trying to win as many as we can to get the at-large bid, and to be ranked hopefully No. 1 in the region.”