The Portland State club soccer team finally got out of their preseason slump. But according to coach Luis “Skooter” Trybom it hasn’t been the smoothest ride.
“We had such an influx of players this year,” Trybom said. “I mean, anywhere from 32 players were down from 16 and that was because of injuries. We don’t have two full teams now. I wanted to get a varsity team and a women’s team. Varsity is more competitive and it plays a little more intense schedule. The A-teams’ schedule plays schools that have a second string team and they play men’s.”
The Vikings spent most of the last month and a half on the soccer field practicing, running and conditioning. In fact, they’ve been working out since the end of fall and have continued practicing all winter long and into the spring.
But on Wednesday, May 23, the Vikings hosted Kells Irish Pub’s men’s team on campus and fell 8-4. Trybom questioned the team’s effort.
“That [the loss] was just because we were lacking a heart and passion for that game. There were a lot of entities that played into the equation. I wasn’t pleased with anything. I think more than anything else it was a rising to adversity. That’s what we’ve been able to do this season, we’ve always overcome adversity.”
Trybom said that was a common occurrence for players to try to acclimate themselves to the collegiate system.
“For some of the students it’s more rigorous. When you have to keep filling the roster with different people that disrupts chemistry quite often.”
“Next year our budget doubles because of our success,” Trybom explained. “Because we’re now more present on campus. This is the first year that Portland State has had club soccer. This is the first year there’s been a code of conduct. I’ve put my heart and soul into it.”
And considering that Trybom turned the program around in comparison to last year, he’s pleased to see the number of players grow this year.
“This whole year has been a first for everything. It was the first year for us having uniforms under the name Portland State University. This has been 100-percent change since last year.”
And the tryouts went fairly well for the Vikings at the beginning of the year. However, since so many players did what they could to make the team, he had to make some changes to the rosters to ensure that everyone had a fair shot.
“I saw a lot of players that had potential and really worked hard with those. I’ve had to knock off five different players for disciplinary reasons.”
PSU freshman midfielder Soumalay Douangmala, who broke his foot earlier in the season, had a few concerns. He says the team is building chemistry, however, they need to work on finding their place on the field.
“We just need to communicate,” Douangmala said. “We need to work on our basic touches. Once we get that down we should be pretty good.”
Trybom said he too felt that there was a lack of team cohesiveness at some points but the team was able to adjust.
“It’s just a reoccurring thing: the ability to meet challenges head on and prevail. I’d say that Corey Hawke and Derrek Selander have been tremendously instrumental. They’re captaining the team and building the team up. Basically those were the assistant coaches this year.”
As the season winds down, the Vikings are scheduled for one of their final games tomorrow on PSU’s community field.