Patriots men’s soccer opens spring schedule

March 30, 2016

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Coming off a successful 2015 campaign, the Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) men’s soccer team is ready to send off its sophomores with one last moment on the turf at the Smith River Sports Complex.

The Patriots open their mini spring schedule with an exhibition match tonight (Mar. 30) at 7:30 p.m. against UNC-Pembroke at the SRSC. The match will either be arranged in two 45-minute halves or three 30-minute segments in an attempt to get as many players as possible time on the pitch.

For a host of NCAA, Division I and II transfers it will be a chance to lace up the boots one last time at the sports complex which saw its fair share of incredible moments this past fall, including hosting the NJCAA, Division I national championships.

“It will be a fun night with two good teams going at it,” Patriots coach Enda Crehan said. “It’s exciting to get back on the turf and we’ve been training hard the last couple of months, so we look forward to getting back out there.”

PHCC will head to UNC-Greensboro for a round-robin tournament this weekend which will feature several 30-minute games, one of which will be against a club team from Frankfurt, Germany. The Patriots wrap up their spring slate with a trio of 30-minute matches April 16 at Ferrum College in Rocky Mount, Va. Roanoke College and VMI are others involved in the four-team exhibition.

When arranging the schedule, Crehan said several factors played a part.

“We looked at geographical location and we also wanted a home game,” Crehan said. “Pembroke wanted a game and it’s not too far from here. UNC-Greensboro is close, along with Ferrum and Roanoke and are all quality opponents. The main thing is we didn’t want to be traveling four hours to play matches.”

The spring training sessions, Crehan said, are just as important as the fall season itself. The preparation for the fall starts immediately after the previous season ends, and between lifting regiments during the winter and team training through the spring, Crehan added there is never a time to rest.

There are still those seeking offers from four-year schools and the spring exhibitions allow certain players to be seen and possibly garner a scholarship offer. The spring also allows those already moving forward with four-year programs a chance to get their fitness going while getting that competitive feel back. More importantly, however, it gives those returning a chance to earn starting spots for next season and form early chemistry.

Crehan said the next few weeks will give him an idea of what his team next season will look like.

“I think the kids coming back have to show well in the spring. It’s a good time to get the fitness high before they leave for summer,” Crehan said. “If you go into the summer fit you can maintain it easier. We just look to get more time on the field and help the freshman become leaders.”

The collective mindset in the spring, Crehan said, is to continue to develop and make the program stronger for the future.

Filed under: Men's Soccer