Normally, in sports, keep an eye on teams entering their second year with a head coach.
During that first season, athletes and new coaches have to adjust to one another, coaches are installing their new system, and it’s not always an easy transition for either coach or athlete.
Crowder soccer coach Steven Harrison enters his second season, and that means teams in Region 16 should look out for the Roughriders this season.
“Things have been a lot smoother heading into my second season,” Harrison said. “I had a full year to recruit and really sell the program to potential recruits. We have really changed the culture of the program on and off the field and I hope to continue to do things right on and off the field.”
Crowder opens the 2019 season today on the road against Coffeyville and the ‘Riders are slated to open at home two days later in a Sunday match against Rose State. The ‘Riders have 10 home matches scheduled, highlighted by a spate of four straight in early October against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Region 16 foes East Central and St. Charles, and Oklahoma Wesleyan. The ‘Riders do make trips to Texas and Illinois this season for matches against Mountain Valley and Cedar Valley (Texas) and Lewis & Clark and Southwestern Illinois.
“Going to Dallas over Labor Day weekend will be good to get away and play a couple teams,” Harrison said. “I have played Mountain View before and added Cedar Valley so we get two games on that trip. I hope to make that trip every year now and change up who we play in Texas.
“We added Lewis and Clark and Southwestern Illinois to make our schedule stronger. When I got here, I wanted to make the regular season schedule more challenging and get our program seen and playing different teams each season. Lewis and Clark will be a very good test, especially on the road.”
— Crowder finished 11-7-1 overall during Harrison’s first season and the ‘Riders advanced to the Region 16 championship match against St. Louis. St. Louis defeated Crowder 2-1, as the ‘Riders came the closest to achieving their first Region 16 boys soccer title in program history.
“This season we have a lot more depth then last season,” Harrison said. “This will help a lot over the next couple months in hopefully staying healthy and winning some games. Our back 4 should be pretty strong and a main focus is allowing as few goals as possible. We will score and be dangerous in the attack, but we need to be solid in the back.”
Over the last three seasons, the ‘Riders amassed 36 victories, including a program record 15 in 2016. Crowder lost 3-1 to St. Louis for the Region 16 title in that historic season.
In fact, the Archers have finished off Crowder four straight seasons.
Daniel Doherty and Danny Lindo led Crowder with eight and seven goals, respectively, and Sebastain Smeed finished second with seven assists. Santiago Garcia made 61 saves in goal and recorded a 1.67 GAA.
Doherty, Smeed, and Garcia return this season and Harrison named Jacob Fallaize and Alejandro Balderas as other key returners.
— Among several newcomers, there’s one who will easily stand out for anybody familiar with prep soccer over the last few years in Missouri.
During his outstanding prep career at Monett, Jason Puente tied Rolla’s Aaron Froehlich (2010-13) for the state record with 182 career goals scored. Puente entered his senior season with 136 and ranked No. 3 on Missouri’s all-time goals scored list. He scored 48 goals each during his sophomore and junior seasons, and he averaged 45.5 goals per season during his prep career.
Puente is one of the more notable newcomers this season for the ‘Riders.
“Jason Puente is a player that really stands out,” Harrison said. “He is from Monett and he was a really good player there scoring a lot of goals. We were lucky to get him here at Crowder and he will do big things for us.”
— Harrison also named Ethan Stockdale, Danny Maldonado, Ethan Merino, and Maxime Foustel as other key newcomers.
Stockdale played at Bentonville West and Maldonado prepped at Springdale. In fact, just a few months ago, Maldonado helped Springdale win the Arkansas Class 6A state title and he scored a goal in the 3-0 title game victory over Bryant.
Merino comes to Crowder from Joplin, while Foustel hails from Rennes, France. (The ‘Riders have drawn talent from eight different countries for their roster.)
— The ‘Riders, like the baseball and softball programs, have a new addition not listed on their roster: the Freeman Fieldhouse.
“The field house is a really nice facility and it will help in all facets of our program,” Harrison said. “It will help with recruiting, training inside when needed and we will have a locker room to call our own. It's a great addition to our athletic program here at Crowder.”
2019 CROWDER SOCCER
No. Name Pos.
00 Anthony Garcia GK
0 Santiago Garcia GK
2 Kevin Juarez WB
3 Ethan Stockdale CB
4 Santiago Sanchez CB
5 Jacob Fallaize CB
6 Danny Maldonado WM
7 Daniel Doherty CM
8 Maynor Sandoval CM
9 Ethan Merino F
10 Sebastian Smeed CM
11 Jason Puente F
12 Gabriel Amorim WB
13 Davidson Nyenty WB
14 Manuel Cornelio F
15 Thomas Horton CM
16 Maxime Foustel WM
17 Nelson Barroso CM
18 Alejandro Balderas CM
19 Gabriel Fernandez WM
20 Tyler Porras WB
21 Christian Marroquin CM
24 Sebastian Sanchez CB
Head coach: Steven Harrison
Assistant: Dezmond Williams
Aug. 15 — at John Brown (scrimmage)
Aug. 17 — at Rockhurst (scrimmage)
Aug. 23 — at Coffeyville
Aug. 25 — vs. Rose State
Aug. 28 — at Kansas City Kansas
Aug. 31 — at Mountain View
Sept. 1 — at Cedar Valley
Sept. 4 — vs. Johnson County
Sept. 8 — vs. Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa
Sept. 13 — at Lewis & Clark
Sept. 15 — at Southwestern Illinois
Sept. 21 — vs. Jefferson
Sept. 23 — vs. Neosho County
Sept. 28 — at State Fair
Oct. 1 — vs. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Oct. 4 — vs. East Central
Oct. 6 — vs. St. Charles
Oct. 9 — vs. Oklahoma Wesleyan
Oct. 12 — at Metropolitan
Oct. 19 — at St. Louis
Oct. 26 — Region 16 quarterfinals