Getting ready for the season opener, the East Central College soccer Falcons concluded the preseason with a 1-1 record.
The Falcons fell Thursday at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 4-0.
“It was a good learning experience, which is what the preseason is for,” East Central Head Coach Kean Barclay said. “Some of the guys got to see what level they need to get to, and where they’re at. It was a great chance to see how the guys could handle playing against a top NCAA Division II team in the area.”
The Falcons, who beat Harris-Stowe State University in the first preseason match, host the Missouri Baptist JV team Saturday at 4 p.m. in the season opener.
“Now that preseason is over, my hopes are we are prepared for what’s ahead,” Barclay stated. “We have a really great schedule and I’m looking forward to the competition.”
Barclay said every player saw action against UMSL with all three goalkeepers playing.
“Personally, I think the result doesn’t necessarily reflect the way we play, but sometimes things don’t go your way and you have to be able to deal with it,” Barclay said.
East Central has six sophomores on the team this season and four of them are returners.
Coming back this season are Vadim Cojocov, Steven Smith, Adam Schmitt and David Moore.
Cojocov and Smith are from Ireland. Schmitt is a Borgia graduate and Moore is from Southern Boone.
Andrew Hammerlinck comes to ECC after playing for Southwestern Illinois College last season. He played with the St. Louis Lions of the USL Premier Development League last summer along with Cojocov and Smith.
The other sophomore is Reggie Faucher, who last played for ECC in 2008.
The team also has 14 freshmen and Barclay is excited about his newcomers.
The new players are Aaron Bannister, Camoy Blash, Gino Bono, Albert Cantu, Dylan Cassidy, Clay Cunningham, Jason Ebbing, Kris Garcia, Matt Lauber, Zakarie Merzouk, Tyler Osborne, Adrian Salazar Brett Stiles and Nicholas Wallace.
Two of the freshmen are local players. Lauber is a Union graduate while Wallace comes from Warrenton.