SOCCER: Teamwork draws transfers

Joanie Baker

Two little boys sit on a sweltering sidewalk watching the soccer team practice across the street. Unknown to them – or to any other bystander for that matter – four of the players on the field are transfers. From all wings of the country, these newcomers have been fused into the program and bring promise of aid with their experience.

Coach David Holmes looks forward to reaping the benefits of the transfer’s prior seasoning.

“Trey Alexander and Justin Pasternak came from community colleges very composed and quick,” Holmes said. “They are both very quick and mature. We’ve definitely got some sure talent this year.”

Alexander and Pasternak are two of four transfers added to Western’s roster this season.

Alexander, a midfielder transfer from Tyler Junior College in Texas, led his high school team in goals and assists. He was brought in to help score goals as the team averaged 1.8 goals per game last year. He hopes to contribute to the team both athletically and psychologically.

“I feel I benefit the team in that I bring a certain calmness to the field and help distribute the ball,” Alexander said. “Sometimes when the game gets fast I help everyone slow it down and take a deep breath. I also help by just knocking the ball around instead of just going straight forward all the time.”

Captain Scott DeGaris said the experience and goals coming into the team’s offense will take some pressure off the defense.

“They know what it takes to play at this level and they come with field and game experience,” DeGaris said. “With the transfers, we definitely gained attack in the midfield, and since we already have a strong defense, they will help us out.”

The team, who was predicted to tie for ninth with Eastern Illinois in a coach’s preseason poll, appealed to all the transfers with its camaraderie.

“I like the fact that we’re all close and get along good,” said defender Marc Walters, a transfer from Bellarmine University. “We work as a team both on and off the field.”

Alexander said the biggest difference between Western and his old school is the teamwork. He said this is the attribute that will make the team successful this season.

“The team is more focused on teamwork than individual players,” Alexander said. “At Tyler, we were taught to focus on giving the ball to one player instead of playing as a team.”

But Alexander wasn’t brought in to serve the ball to one player. And if the Toppers come out with that type of teamwork, they should jump- start the offense beginning with the exhibition game today at Dayton.

Reach Joanie Baker at [email protected]