Coming off a 3-0 win over the California Institute of Technology, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's soccer team has an 8-3 record, 6-3 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. After a rebuilding year in which they finished 6-8-4, the Stags have shown much improvement this season. TSL spoke to forward Mehron Abdi CM '17, who has witnessed the improvement firsthand and is tied for the team with four goals this season.
TSL: How has the team improved this season?
Abdi: The difference between last year and this year is that we got a bunch of new freshmen coming in and pulling their weight, which has helped us a lot. Aside from that, I think our mentality has changed. We took on this whole mentality termed “be relentless”; it’s basically just giving everything you got. We’re trying to really encompass that as a team and build off of that. Last year, it was more of a rebuilding year, and this year, we’ve already created that chemistry and now we’re just trying to build off of that.
TSL: As a senior, how do you view your role?
Abdi: Definitely as a leader. I like to lead more on the field, that’s kind of my style. But, I’ve tried to improve my leadership off the field as well. A lot of it off the field is just mentoring the underclassmen and making sure that they’re developing into players and students that we as Stag soccer want to see. On the field, it’s just doing everything right. At times, you just have to put your head down and get the job done. On and off the field, both of them carry weight. I think, as a leader, you’re looked at as the example. It’s always important in my mind to know that and demonstrate that to the underclassmen, whether that be on or off the field.
TSL: How can the team continue to improve?
Abdi: I think the consistency. It’s a short season, but we have a lot of games within the season, so I think it’s important for every game, whether it be Caltech or [University of] Redlands to bring the same motivation and same relentless attitude that we’re trying to establish as a team. I think that’s going to be the biggest difficulty. Also, just getting better, day after day. In the past, we’ve started off really good and then we start to become lazy and kind of complacent, so it’s important to for us to do that. I think we are doing that, but it’s important to remind ourselves that that’s the mindset we need to have.
TSL: Have there been any key matches so far?
Abdi: The home opener against Pomona [College] was pretty huge. Coming off a season where we wish we had done better, it was really important that in the first game we set the tone early and carry the momentum as we go forward in the season. I think we did with the win we had against Pomona, especially on our home field.
TSL: What are some goals moving forward?
Abdi: I think, just as a team, it’s important that we continue playing our game throughout the season with no drop off as we go forward, game after game. If we do that, the results will come as they approach. Individually, I want to enjoy my last season and be a good leader so that the team next year has good leaders, and then those leaders can shape future leaders. I hope the other seniors on the team feel the same way that we’re just trying to make sure that the team going forward remains strong.