Keep an eye on Marietta College men’s soccer

At one point last season, the Marietta College men’s soccer team was undefeated on its home pitch.

The Joe Bergin-coached Pioneer booters finished 6-2 at Marietta Field, losing only to two of the better squads in the Ohio Athletic Conference, Ohio Northern University and Capital University.

This upcoming campaign, which kicks off in earnest against visiting Franciscan University next Friday (Sept. 2) at 5 p.m., MC is hoping once again to be the team to beat at home.

“It’s important that we protect our home field,” said Marietta redshirt senior striker Taylor Reasoner. “We have to come away with points on our home field. We have to use it to our advantage.

“Our program is on the rise. We’re really hoping we can get some of the campus and the community out to support us on the field.”

The Pioneers won’t have to convince the Jon VanderWal-led MC men’s basketball team to be at Marietta Field to cheer them on. Last year, the highly-regarded navy blue and white cagers were there in force.

“They were awesome last year,” Reasoner said. “They were a lot of fun. Having them on the sideline is a great feeling.”

Reasoner knows first hand.

After scoring a goal in Marietta’s 2-0 win against Wilmington College, Reasoner ran over to the MC cagers at the far end of the pitch, and they had a brief celebration before play was resumed.

But not even the Pioneer basketball team could help the Marietta booters when they played host to powerhouse Ohio Northern on Halloween last year. It turned out to be no treat as they dropped a 6-0 decision.

“We had our biggest crowd come out to the Ohio Northern game, and we choked for lack of a better term,” Reasoner recalled. “They (Polar Bears) were the best team and one of the best teams we played all year.

“We put up a very poor performance, and we felt like we scared off a few of the fans. This year, we hope that they give us another chance to prove them wrong, to keep them out there, and to keep them coming to games. and really get the energy up, because if we can get some fans out to watch us, it’ll really boost our morale.

And, we’ll be a lot more excited.”

Last year, Marietta played in the OAC Tournament for the second straight fall, and that is of course one of its goals again this season. Just recently, the Pioneers, with nine returning starters, 16 letter winners, and nine freshmen recruits, were ranked fourth in a league preseason poll.

So expectations are high as they should be.

Right now, the MC booters have the cagers’ support, but they’re seeking even more attention.

“Outside of the basketball team, we’d like to have the kids on campus and the people around the community come to the games,” Reasoner said. “Just supporting us and seeing what we’re all about.”

“The basketball team is a great example. They have everybody in this town on their back, and they perform for them.”

The 2016 Marietta College men’s soccer team is planning to do the same — perform.

Ron Johnston is a Marietta Times sports writer, and can be reached at (740)373-2121, x534, or at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com