UNG’s Men’s Soccer: Spirit Night Loss


Photo by Emma Keisler

Men’s Soccer lost against the University of Montevallo at the University of North Georgia’s Spirit Night Sep. 29. UNG started the season out strong, winning their first three games, but some key players caught COVID-19. This forced the remaining members to adapt and play different positions according to the captain Gustavo Alencar, a senior marketing major and midfielder for UNG’s Men’s soccer.

UNG is now 5-5 after playing the University of South Carolina Aiken on Oct. 6. Their next game, Alumni Day, is on Oct. 9 against Clayton State University. 

Photo by Emma Keisler

Michael Walsh, a junior business management major and defender for UNG’s men’s soccer, gives his insight into what happened. He says, “Going into the game the team and I were pretty confident because we had won an important conference game against GSW [Georgia Southwestern State University] right before Montevallo. I didn’t have any pregame jitters.” As for his individual game Walsh says, “Personally, I thought my one-v-one defending was up to par for the game.” 

Walsh admits that he could still work on some things saying, “I thought my passing could have been better on the night. I should have taken more risks in my passing instead of playing safely all the time. This could have opened up the game for us in attack.” Alencar also says he needs to improve his passing, “I work hard during the week to improve my passing skills, and the team really relies on me on finding those key passes in order to put our team in a good position to score. In that specific game, I missed some important passes that even got me frustrated at the end of the game.”

Photo by Emma Keisler of #8 Gustavo Alencar, midfielder and captain for UNG’s Men’s soccer.

Things got rough for the team when it came to communication. Walsh says, “One of the biggest things the team could improve is communication. Simply telling your teammates where to move positionally and giving them information on the things they can’t see makes a world of difference.” Walsh gives his impression of the game saying, “Overall, I thought we played poorly. We didn’t create enough chances and were unorganized in our defense. Luckily, this can be fixed pretty easily.” Alencar agrees, “This team has huge potential, every player, such as starters or substitutes, has something special. But no one can succeed in this game by playing by themselves. In order for us to achieve great things and be successful, we need to improve our teamwork and be more connected…”

Photo by Emma Keisler of #3 Michael Walsh, defender for UNG’s Men’s soccer.

There are high hopes for the future with Walsh saying, “ I feel as though the coaches do not put a lot of pressure on me or any of the players. They both believe in every single player’s ability and tend to keep the mood very positive. This affects my game but in a positive manner. They add a lot of confidence to all of us.” Alencar shares high hopes for the future as he continues to prove himself worthy of captain. He says, “This pressure only does good things because that only motivates me to do my best, and put into work everyday to prove to them why I am where I am. I want to be that person, for example, so that the next captains to come can keep the UNG standards, or even lift them up to improve the soccer program.”

Photo by Emma Keisler

You can learn more about UNG’s Men’s soccer program on their website.