Young Spartans eye playoffs

New striker Spencer Schmidt will be counted on for offence for the Trinity Western Spartans this season. - Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics
New striker Spencer Schmidt will be counted on for offence for the Trinity Western Spartans this season.
— image credit: Scott Stewart/TWU Athletics

Staying healthy and scoring on the road are key for the Trinity Western Spartans men’s soccer team.

In 2010, the squad missed the post-season for the first time since 2002 and a lot of that had to do with those two above mentioned reasons.

The Spartans struggled through a 5-5-4 Canada West conference record. At home, the team was dominant, going 5-1-1 with 16 goals in seven games. But on the road, they were a dismal 0-4-3 with only six goals, four of which came in the same game.

But one silver lining may be the fact some of the Spartans young players were thrust into bigger roles earlier than anticipated.

“We are still a young team, but a young team that has played some meaningful minutes,” said coach Pat Rohla.

“I think we are in good shape.”

The team returns nearly its entire line-up from 2010, plus a few key additions, notably in striker Spencer Schmidt and midfielder Brayden Gant.

The return of defender Brayden Volkenant should also bolster the team’s back-end.

“Things are looking positive,” Rohla said.

“The race for spots to get picked into the (game day roster) 18 is going to be like no other we’ve had.”

The goaltending position should be stable with a pair of fifth-year netminders in Andrew Kowan and Andrew Fink.

Fink led the Canada West with six shutouts.

The Spartans, unranked to start the season, open play this weekend at home.

On Friday they host the Fraser Valley Cascades, while on Saturday it is the Victoria Vikes in town.

Both games are at Spartan Field at 7 p.m.

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