UDA NMSU Soccer Makes a national name for themselves
So far in the program's history, the NMSU team has made it one step farther in their season every year. Coach Drake claims that it all comes back to having goals and starting the season with intentionality. "At the beginning of every season, the boys and I sit down and set TEAM goals. In the last two seasons in the UPSL, the team has progressed one game further. For example in the Spring of 2021 (Season 1) the boys lost in the first round of playoffs, while in the Fall of 2021 (Season 2) the boys lost in the Championship match of the Arizona Division. This past season, the boys set a team goal of reaching the round of 32 and getting one game better every year. [This season] I was expecting the student-athletes to improve one step at a time through experience and hard work."
As the season progressed, success came with it but so did the growth of the players. One of the biggest changes seen among the team was culture, taking ownership, and coming together as a family. "The biggest improvement I have seen within this group is a sense of belief within the team, the 'we versus me' mentality, and the boys attitude to fight for each other on and off the field" Drake stated.
In addition to the success of the season, the NMSU team gained a brand new home field on campus "[With] a field to call their own, the boys feel like they have a sense of belonging now" Drake continued. The team certainly leaned on home-field advantage by never dropping a game on their new pitch.
The NMSU team's success wouldn't have been as sweet without a community of encouragement, "The support from the UDA families has been amazing! Traveling from all over the country and some families from outside the country, we couldn't ask for a better group of parents to cheer on the team!" Drake said. Outside of the UDA families' continued support, the local community has helped spread the word about supporting the NMSU squad.
As we reflect on this past season, we can't help but get excited for what's to come this fall and the chance to welcome in a new group of players and their families. "As Coaches, we're so looking forward to welcoming the incoming class of student-athletes. Coach Blake and I are excited about what we feel this group can be in the coming years. With all that being said, we can't wait to create relationships and help these young men achieve success on and off the field." Stated Drake.
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