April 6, 2014
The Trinity Lutheran College Men's Soccer team took the field for their second spring scrimmage on Sunday, April 6 against the Vikings of Western Washington University (WWU). The scrimmage was held at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Wash. and ended in a 0-3 advantage that favored the host WWU Vikings.
Last fall, the Vikings (NCAA D2) finished their 2013 campaign in second place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with an impressive 12-4-3 record.
First year head coach Harlan Slind has made challenging the team with top tier competition a priority, and that is exactly what the Eagles got in taking on the Vikings. The spring’s first scrimmage was contested against the NCAA D1 powerhouse University of Washington Huskies. In both games, the Trinity men competed as a team despite being outmatched for the entire 90 minutes and into injury time.
The Eagles kept the Vikings off the scoreboard until freshman Bassem Alyksi, the team’s standout defensive center midfielder, suffered a season ending lower leg injury during the 30th minute. After the injury, the Vikings wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Alyksi, despite playing in just his first year of collegiate soccer, had quickly established himself as a strong defensive presence that could shut down passing lanes and control the game in air. In his absence, the team gave everything it had, but was ultimately outmatched by a really good WWU team.
"We put up a fight against a very strong opponent, but losing a player like Bassem changed the midfield dynamic and we’ll have some work to do as we move forward without having him available for the remainder of the spring," said Assistant Coach Tao Shen.
"The defensive center mid is the heart and soul of any soccer team and we just weren’t the same without Bassem. Our thoughts and prayers are with him in his recovery process."
Senior Cesar Gonzalez was chosen as the honorary captain prior to the match for his contribution to the Eagles’soccer program. Gonzales, a business major from Los Angeles’s South East High School and a transfer from Rio Honda Community College, will graduate this spring.
The men head back to training this week in preparation for their final scrimmage of the spring. That game will take place on May 9 at 7:00pm against Seattle Pacific University at Everett Memorial Stadium.