Men’s soccer looks for continued success under new head coach

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North Central’s men’s soccer team faces off with Minnesota Morris for homecoming game on Saturday September 30th. Photo by Ethan Krohn.

North Central’s men’s soccer team is looking to build on playing in the NCCAA championship game last year. The Rams have a 3-4-2 record under new head coach George Carr.

Carr, a North Central athletics alum, was an assistant coach during the 2016 season under former head coach Jake Smith. When he found out Smith would not be returning, he applied for the head coach position.

In an email, Car said his first thought after finding out he would be the head coach was “How soon can I start?” His passion for soccer was evident.

Carr discovered his passion for soccer while in the midst of his playing career. After many years of coaching youth and recreational soccer players, he decided to pour into the Rams’ program the same way his coaches poured into him when he played.

Carr wants to apply his own brand of soccer to the program. There are high expectations for this season, as the team returned many of their successful players. However, talented players were lost and adjustments as head coach had to be made. Growing pains will likely occur but his team is well equipped to handle it.

“We really like his vision and goals,” senior captain Jake Loukinen said in an email. “He’s a good tactical coach and knows the game really well, which gives players motivation to learn from him.”

The vision is to make the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference playoffs for the second time in program history or make another run at the NCCAA national championship.

Loukinen noted in an email how he has witnessed the program grow. Three years ago, the Rams won only one game, a non-conference matchup. The next season, the team made it to the UMAC playoffs. Then the team played in the NCCAA championship game last year.

“We have to top that this year, and I think we can do it,” Loukinen said in an email. “We’ve built strong relationships, and I think that translates well to success on the field.”

Carr believes success comes from the number of games won, saying in an email, “we can always do better.” In Carr’s eyes, doing better means the men grow closer, cementing a healthy environment based on trust in one another and love for Christ.

The program’s motto is “for the 12th.” The men play the sport they love for the “12th man,” meaning Christ. They say it in their cheer before games begin. Carr explained that everything they do should reflect Christ and live out the standard for which Christ set for us.

Carr would like to elevate the program so that all Christian soccer players in the Twin Cities area know that North Central is a possible choice for a college education. Senior captain Nick Walker said in an email that it is his goal to help Carr continue to grow the program.

“The program has potential to do great things in the near future,” Walker said.

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