The key to success for the Trinity Western Spartans men’s soccer team is more time on the field and less time in the medical room.
Injuries plagued the squad in 2013 as they struggles to a 4-6-3 record, missing the Canada West playoffs.
The team did finish strong with just one loss in their final six games (3-1-2).
But with a healthy veteran line-up which includes a few key additions — and with only one key departure — the Spartans enter the post-season brimming with confidence and out to prove that last year was little more than an injury-riddled anomaly.
Up front, the offensive firepower should come from the trio of Canada West second-team all-star Jarvis Ambaka, Dominic Reinold and highly-touted incoming recruit Vitaliano Poletto.
Reinold only managed a pair of games last season.
The middle of the park will be patrolled by Canada West second-team all-star Brayden Gant, as well as Mitchell Rohla and Cameron Parkes.
Incoming recruit Joel Waterman of Aldergrove is expected to provide depth in the midfield.
Kalem Scott and Taylor Johnson will anchor the defence down the middle while Jordan Whitehead — who missed all of last season — will provide stability on the outside.
In goal, Andrew Hicks and Evan Lowther will once again push each other for playing time.
Hicks was 3-3-3- with a 1.63 goals against average and a .632 save percentage while Lowther was 1-3-0 with a 3.67 goals against and a .632 save percentage.
The Spartans open the Canada West season by hosting the UFV Cascades on Sept. 5. Game time is 7 p.m. at Rogers Field. The team will also play in Victoria against the UVic Vikes on Sept. 6.