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Men’s Soccer gearing up for postseason

Sports Writer

Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:10

Men's soccer

Photo by Nick Washington/Prospectus News

Douglas Andrade (10) attempts on goal with mid-air scissor kick while his teammate Paulo Delgadillo (21) plays defense in a game verses the University of Illinois on September 9, 2011 winning 2-1.

The Parkland Cobras Men's soccer team did not finish the season as envisioned in early August. Despite that, Head Coach Mark Sikora's club is still in contention for a national championship. The men's soccer team finished the season with a record of 8-8-1 capped off by 1-0 victory over Heartland Community College on Saturday. Their next match will be a first round regional tournament match against Southwestern Illinois College.

"Our season has been full of ups and downs," said Assistant Coach John Sadilek.

This roller coaster of a season has seen the Cobras play some top-level soccer against the best programs in the country but also has shown them struggle a bit.

The season was started with a bang as the first two opponents for the team were currently ranked #11 NIACC and #3 Iowa Western. Strong efforts were put forth in both contests but the Cobras would suffer defeat to both of these opponents.

Seeming to learn from those losses and using them as motivation, the Cobras pieced together a rather impressive showing over their next nine contests. They would record seven wins and two losses over that stretch. The pair of losses came at the hands of then-ranked Lincoln Land and current nation #1 Schoolcraft College.

Inconsistent times would follow this impressive run. The Cobras would not record a win in their next five matches (0-4-1). They would however get back on track right before the playoffs with a win over Heartland College.

The team's record is not reflective of their talent.

"We felt that this team would have a better record than 8-8-1 at this point, but so far we have been unable to get a win against a top-20 team," Sadilek said.

The Cobras were in a lot of games against a very aggressive schedule with a large portion of it including the best teams in the nation. Those losses are not a reason to hang their head, but used more for a learning experience and understanding the level that must be reached to succeed. The coaching staff is sure this message has been received by the players as they continue their journey towards a championship.

"This is a special group of guys," raves Sadilek.

Despite recent struggles, confidence is oozing out of this program

"Over the last two weeks, we've really made some strides in practice sessions and in matches," Sadilek continues. "We've really been focused and playing like a team with something to prove."

They will definitely have something to prove this Saturday as the region 24 Tournament begins for the Cobras. The victory over Heartland College clinched the #4 seed for the Cobras. They will host Southwestern Illinois College at noon. This will be a rematch of a September 24th meeting where the Cobras were victorious 1-0.

The trials and triumphs of this past season should play a huge part in how far the Cobras advance. Show your support for the men's soccer team as well as all Cobra athletic programs.

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