The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Men’s Soccer began their journey in the quest for a Capital Athletic Conference Championship (CAC) at home on Saturday, November 2 at home versus Southern Virginia. The team finished up the regular season 11-5-2 and secured the three seed in the tournament under ninth year head coach, Alun Oliver.
While the whole team has contributed to this season, two players have truly stood out in their performance so far this season. Senior Khalid Balogun has had a major impact on the team. Balogun has started in sixteen games for the Seahawks this season, scoring 16 goals. When asking him how he has prepared to leave such an impact on the team, he asserted “We as a senior class have just tried to set the best examples possible for the team with the expectation that the classes under us will carry that on as they go their college careers.”
Another player who has had a major impact on the team this season is senior Anoi Hindle. Hindle has also started in 16 games for the Seahawks this season while recording two goals. When asking Hindle on his view of the season thus far, he stated that, “The season so far has been phenomenal. Teams are going to have ups and downs no matter what, and the way we have responded to adversity has grown so much over the season that we believe we can achieve anything we put our hearts into.” Balogun agreed with Hindle and said, “I would describe our season thus far as foundation setting one. We have eight seniors graduating and our aim this season, along with winning the CAC, is leaving our underclassmen with great examples to follow after we leave.”
The team has had many memorable moments from the season. They did not lose their first game until Sept. 25. Balogun remarked that his best memory from the season was when they upset the number 18 seed, Carnegie Mellon. Hindle spoke about his best memory thus far, “My best memory this season was when we tied Mary Washington on senior night. Walking out with my family one last time was amazing, and the whole entire team had such a great energy against a really strong opponent. They had beaten us earlier in the season so getting a tie, that could’ve been a win, was very uplifting for the team.”
While they have a lot to be proud of this season, they also have a lot of goals still in mind as the playoffs begin. Balogun asserted, “Our goal going into the playoffs is to just go into every game and enjoy it. Because it will be the last time this group of guys will be together so we want to make the most of it.” Hindle built off Balogun’s statement and said, “As always, our goal is to take every game one step at a time and win the CAC! I believe we have a great chance to do that, and I’m so excited to see what we can do.”
While this season has been successful regardless of the outcome, the future is bright as well. When asking both Balogun and Hindle what the freshman class is like, they both had glowing remarks. Balogun argued, “The freshman keep the competition level high, because if any of the upperclassmen aren’t performing, we have a quality freshman group that can come in and do the job.” Hindle echoed his sentiments by saying “The freshman have had a massive impact on the team this year on and off the field. They are such intelligent, strong characters that have really helped the progress of our program. Not only are they fantastic players, but they are very great guys off the field as well. I cannot wait to see how they mature and grow over the next few years.”
The Seahawks are headed into the playoffs with poise and confidence and have their sights set on a CAC championship. While the team has a lot to be proud of this season, the future is bright and the team will be competitors for a championship for years to come.