A different storm blew Saturday night as the Dixie State University men’s soccer team’s season opener against Westminster College was rescheduled for Oct. 31 due to poor weather.
This is the second canceled game in a row for the Storm caused by lightning.
“I feel like I’m living in Seattle or something,” said defender David Potocki, a senior integrated studies major from Phoenix. “For all the years I’ve been here, our game has never once been canceled—especially to rain.”
Potocki said the team has trained hard for this game, and he is disappointed it didn’t get to play. The Storm will now start their season against Seattle Pacific University on Tuesday.
“We trained for five days getting ready to go for the season opener—this was it,” Potocki said. “Westminster would have been a great kickoff instead of Seattle Pacific. [SPU] is a top-20 team in the nation; last year they were in the top three.”
Head coach Danny Ortiz said the team doesn’t feel as prepared for the game as it should have been. But he hopes it will still have some success on the field Tuesday. He said the main issue for him is having less time to evaluate some of the other players in order to add some depth onto the field, as well as the valuable time the team needs to play together.
“It’s a tough deal for us,” Ortiz said. “This was an opportunity to gain more experience together. The first two [games] were scrimmages, so we got a lot of youngsters playing, and not a lot of our starters got a lot of minutes together.”
DSU lost to Seattle Pacific 1-0 in double overtime last year. Both teams were a strong match-up against each other.
“We have a pretty good feel of what we are going to see from them,” Ortiz said. “We are looking forward to the challenge. It may be a little more difficult, and we may not have this game under our belts, but we just have to show up and play.
Potocki said an advantage the Red Storm will have over SPU this year is their much improved skill level. He said the only problem will be the freshmen who have never played a college game yet.
“But, we are going to have players off the bench that are really strong, which is going to be good for us at a full-90,” Potocki said.
DSU’s main concern last year was its ability to score against SPU.
“That game, we had three to four opportunities we should have buried it back in the net, and it didn’t come our way,” Potocki said. “[SPU] capitalized on it and finished [us] off at the end.”
He said it’s not going to happen this year. He believes the Red Storm have the chance to win the Pacific West Coast Conference this year with the level of athletic ability each team member has.
“My sophomore year, we went 9-0,” Potocki said. “We wrecked everybody. So we have to [compare]that team to now. We have the potential to be that team and greater. It just depends if kids want to do it.”
DSU will play SPU Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Hansen Stadium.