Maverick Soccer begins conference play on high note


Abby Plouzek
Sports Editor

 Kenji Mboma Dem Talks on Western Illinois Win. Photo Courtesy of Mark Kuhlmann.

The men’s soccer team scored their first win of the conference season by beating Western Illinois in Macomb, Illinois. The team scored one point in the first half and another in the second, making the final score 2-0 for the Mavericks. With a new coach this season, the first matches were highly anticipated by fans. Donovan Dowling was announced as the new head coach in June 2022, after Bob Warming announced his second retirement earlier in June.

Within the 2022 season, the Mavericks have a record of four wins, three losses and one tied match. Sophomore forward Kenji Mboma Dem scored the first goal for the Mavericks in the first half. The Mavericks have adjusted to the change in coaching staff.

“We knew it would be challenging, but thanks to everyone in the athletics department, the coaching staff, and the efforts of every player on the team it has been good and we have been growing well and plan on keeping it up,” Mboma Dem said.

Mboma Dem is in his third year with the Mavericks and has proved himself a worthy opponent both on and off the field. In his sophomore year during 2021, he achieved three goals, three assists, 28 shots, 10 shots on goal, and 1,020 minutes logged. Mboma Dem said that in the beginning of this season, the team’s main focus is to grow before conference play begins.

“We’ve had wins and good performances, just like we had quite embarrassing losses,” Mboma Dem said.

Regarding the Western Illinois match, Mboma Dem said the team studied what went wrong in previous matches and prepared with “great intensity and focus.”

 The team gears up for a match against Denver and are actively preparing. 

“When we practice we put in high energy, high intensity with great focus to details,” Mboma Dem said. “Then, we all have our own responsibilities off the pitch to take care of our bodies to be ready everyday.”