Men’s soccer finds strength through storm


Noah Powers/The Seahawk

No. 6 David Lozano squares off with North Carolina’s Raul Aguilera (28)

Lanre Badmus, Staff Writer

Nothing has been normal for the UNC Wilmington men’s soccer team over the past month. Ever since their 3-2 home win over UNC Asheville on Sept. 9, the Seahawks have been on the road due to Hurricane Florence.

The Seahawks have stayed in hotels; there “home” games played in neutral sites in Greensboro and Elon, and they had to postpone their away trip to Northeastern that was scheduled for Sept. 15 – right when the storm hit the Port City. Their normal game jerseys were stolen in the wake of the storm – forcing them to play in all-white kits for the past four games.

“It’s been tough on the road,” said senior Ben Fisher. “We’ve been out of school almost a month now. I think through all this adversity, we’ve been playing really well…I think we’ve been handling it really well.”

And yet, the Seahawks (7-2-1) soar on. They’re undefeated in Colonial Athletic Association play, with two wins over Charleston and James Madison coming after a scoreless draw against Hofstra. They also lead the conference in goals scored with 21.

Despite all the adversity the team has had to deal with over the past four weeks, they have only gone from strong to stronger– with bonds sown closer together after being around one another more often than a normal season.

“Over the last few weeks with the hurricane, [the key has been] just staying together at the hotel,” said senior midfielder David Lozano after Tuesday’s loss to Carolina. “It’s nice to have each other hanging around, it actually gives us an opportunity to bond together. It’s a short season, and with classes and being at home all the time, it’s a little better that we’re closer together. We’re basically with each other 24/7.”

Though UNCW has been away from home for the entirety of the past four weeks, the team’s expectations are the same as if under normal circumstances, and the players believe the program has really begun to fulfill its potential.

“I think it’s just helped the belief in our team,” Fisher said. “We’re not a big-name school, but we’re a big-name soccer program, and we like to keep it that way.”

“I believe, and a lot of the guys and coaches believe that we’re a top-25 program,” Lozano said. “Yes, [Carolina] are a good side, but we want to be at the top. We want to be the ones getting the results, be it away or at home.”

The Seahawks continue their road swing with conference games at Drexel and Elon before finally returning to the Port City to host Belmont on Oct. 13 for a 7 P.M. kickoff.