Storm men’s soccer team remain unbeaten, hungry for more

by Matt Lash, Sports Editor

INDIANOLA, Iowa — With a record of 9-0-1, the Storm men’s soccer team expects to continue their success as they make a push for an IIAC title and NCAA tournament in the postseason.

After falling to Loras College in the second round of the IIAC tournament last season, the Storm are hoping for a home field advantage going into postseason play so Simpson fans can cheer the team on from their own sidelines.

The Storm fought for a close overtime win at home to (at the time) unbeaten Central College last weekend, but now the Storm hopes to bounce back after tying with Augustana 2-2 on Sunday. Yet to be defeated, the Storm are taking one game at a time, led by senior Garrett Pochop.

Needing just one goal to tie Mitchell White for most all-time goals (42 goals) for the Storm, Pochop isn’t worried too much about the record. What he is worried about is how the team performs on game day.

“I’m aware of the record,” Pochop said. “That’ll happen, if it happens. Really the main goal is to get the team through the conference tournament and really to win a conference championship.”

If his experience and resume don’t speak for themselves, Pochop has been a leader on the team for the last two years. Last year, he earned IIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors twice and was named IIAC Offensive Player of the Year. With nine goals already this season, Pochop leads the IIAC but is glad to see his teammates being effective as well.

“I know Tanner (Alderson) worked really hard all offseason,” Pochop said. “He’s been a huge help this year and I think we work really well together up top. In these last few games, a couple guys have been able to really trickle in some statistical impacts. It’s huge.”

Having more than one person scoring consistent goals has become a big problem when teams are doing scouting for the Storm. Last year, they mostly worried about Pochop and his offensive ability to score. Now, opponents have to focus on Alderson as well, in addition to deciding how they’re going to attack Jake Potratz (GK) who has only allowed seven goals on 42 shots against him.

In his seventh season as the head coach for the Storm, Rick Isaacson has put a strong emphasis on being the hardest working team and being the smartest team on the field.

“Coach likes to call us, ‘a bunch of gritty, grinders,’ and that’s what we really try to be on the field,” Pochop said.

With only about 25 percent of the team being upperclassmen, the Storm are doing well for the youthfulness they face.

“For this team to reach its goals, we must become more detail-oriented,” Isaacson said, “Continuing to win tight games with a youthful team will require improved game management and continued maturation from our younger players.”

Coming off their first game that wasn’t a victory, the Storm continue conference play against the University of Dubuque on Saturday and will host Nebraska Wesleyan at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at Buxton Stadium.