The men’s soccer team is seeking one last win against Azusa Pacific University to end the season on a high note.
Dixie State College plays APU on Nov. 3.
APU is one of the California teams that is new to the conference. The Red Storm are counting on a comeback after a 2-0 loss in California.
Dixie currently has a 4-7-2 record in the conference and a 5-10-2 record overall.
“This season has been a little bit frustrating,” head coach Danny Ortiz said. “It had its ups and downs, and I think the guys expected a little more of their season than they got. Some things were in our control and some things weren’t.”
Ortiz said the work the boys put in was good as a whole.
“The game of soccer is sometimes cruel when it comes to outcome,” Ortiz said. “It just happens to be one of those seasons where you get into a little bit of scoring slump, and it is just too hard to climb out of by the time we got to any home games.”
He said there have been some unforgettable times for Ortiz this season.
“The most memorable moment was the comeback against Grand Canyon,” Ortiz said. “Even though they fell short, I think it showed out a lot about what this team was, and the fact that they knew we could play against anybody.”
Ortiz said they played four nationally ranked teams and played well every single time.
There were two athletes that really stood out throughout this season: seniors Tyler Albretsen and Francisco Rivero.
Ortiz said they have worked hard and are good students. He said there are many things off the field that he thinks are special about them as much as there are on the field.
“Tyler works hard,” Ortiz said. “He’s the leader on the field and he shows the guys exactly what is about to be here, the attitude that needed to happen both on and off the field, and how to carry yourself.”
Both of them have been here all four years, and they bring great talent to the team.
“Frankie is the exact same way,” Ortiz said. “He is a good individual and a great teammate. He always gave the best he could do whenever he got to the field.”
With it being Albretsen and Rivero’s last year here, they have had some great moments with Dixie soccer.
“Most memorable soccer moment was last year when we beat Grand Canyon University our first game of the season,” said senior midfielder Albretsen, a psychology major from Pleasant View. “We went there and won, and I scored the game winner. After that we went on a seven-game winning streak and beat other great teams. It felt good to win with my team.”
Other great memories have become a result of the soccer program.
“My most memorable soccer moment would have to be in my freshman year,” said senior forward Rivero, a criminal justice major from Paramount, Calif. “My first game I played was against the national champions of that year. Nine freshmen started off that game, and [Dixie] had the lead, which had never been done before with that opposing team.”
Albretsen said he is going to miss being with the other players.
“Being a senior you realize this is the last games and the last teams you are going to play with for college,” Albretsen said. “You kind of look back and try to have the best times you can. You just try to meet everyone and hang out as much as you can.”
The two men said being with their teammates is where they have made the best memories overall.
“Just the way the guys are with each other,” Rivero said. “Everybody is pretty comfortable with each other. We have a good time and everybody gets along. I love being around them.”
Along with missing the fellow players, Rivero said he will miss the level of soccer and the competition.
“It’s something that you can’t find everywhere,” Rivero said.
Both boys want to thank the fans for coming out and supporting their team this season.
“[The fans] really do affect how the guys play and are an extremely important part of the game,” Rivero said. “It makes the team feel good when they go out and support.”
They also thanked their fellow soccer players and coaches for the four years of soccer.
Albretsen said he will miss all the players, especially his friends Frankie and Jordan.
“All in all, both qualities in the young men show what being a student athlete is about,” Ortiz said. “It’s not just coming and playing hard. It’s about what you do in the classroom and on the field, and I think they are both great examples of that.”
The Red Storm play their last game at 5 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.