The Mount Vernon Nazarene University men’s soccer team is losing five seniors following their fall season, each with their own significant role, memories and advice to future students and athletes.
First year Head Coach Zach Ganzberg emphasized the seniors’ impact on the men’s soccer program this season.
“I want to commend all of our seniors on being adaptable, motivated, committed to the team and our core values, and staying faithful, even during adversity,” Ganzberg said.
Adam Miller, majoring in integrated social studies, has played a key role all four years of his collegiate career as the starting goalkeeper. His favorite memory is from his sophomore year when the team beat Bethel College in a penalty shootout.
“It was a crazy cold game and we scored to send it to overtime with 28 seconds left. Then we won in penalty kicks,” Miller said.
Miller is going to miss practicing and competing with his brothers and best friends each day. He encourages students to enjoy each moment of their college experience.
“I’d also say not to wait to put things off; you never know when your last game or practice will be. Put your best effort into everything and enjoy every second,” Miller said.
Graduating with a biology major, midfielder Brock Bishop shared his favorite memory from his four years on the team.
“One of my favorite memories from my career has to be beating IWU on the road during my junior year (2016). It was a highly-competitive game and one that meant a lot to everybody on our team,” Bishop said.
Bishop will miss the little details the most: the five-hour bus rides home on a weeknight when his legs are sore, the celebrations after an overtime win, early-season team trips, but will miss his teammates most of all.
“The brotherhood you experience during your four years here is unlike anything else,” Bishop said.
Bishop embraced the grind as a student-athlete, and hopes that others will do the same.
“It’s how you handle the lows that will define your career here. Work hard, love your brothers, and always bring the juice,” Bishop said.
Defender Aaron Russell, a marketing major and defender for his team, will miss seeing his teammates every day, and making the most of long bus rides.
His most memorable experience was when the team traveled to West Virginia during preseason.
“It was a great way to get to the know the guys, and it was a lot of fun,” Russell said.
“As far as advice for other athletes or students go, I would say hang out with your friends and teammates as much as you can,” Russell said.
Defender Mark Parsell will graduate with a degree in Business Administration. Parsell’s favorite memory is when former head coach, Andrew Belleman, punted his chair during a game and got a red card.
“I will miss competing at the collegiate level, but not as much as I will miss spending time with my best friends every day,” Parsell said.
Midfielder Joshua Alexander will graduate with a degree in Marketing, and his favorite memory is traveling with the team.
“I’m obviously going to miss all the guys and the feeling after a big win or goal, but I am also going to miss the long bus rides and preseason workouts, oddly enough. I’m just going to miss everything,” Alexander said.
Alexander encouraged teammates to give their all every day.
“Take every game like it’s your last. You don’t want to look back at games and wish you could’ve done more,” Alexander said.
Ganzberg is thankful for each of the seniors’ role in establishing the foundation, culture and philosophy that will become the future of the men’s soccer team at MVNU.
“I have no doubt, from the strength of character I've seen from each of these seniors, that they will be successful in whatever endeavors they decide to pursue. We will sorely miss our seniors,” Ganzberg said.