By COREY DAVIS
The BYU men’s soccer team will face its first competition Thursday — BYU’s international students.
In honor of February’s Black History Month, the soccer team agreed to scrimmage the international students, but due to the weather, the game was postponed until 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Haws practice field.
Men’s soccer coach Chris Watkins said the scrimmage will give the Cougars a chance to play against players they don’t normally get to see.
The Cougars’ next intercollegiate match will be against Ricks College March 27. The game against the Vikings will be BYU’s only spring exhibition game and will give both teams an opportunity to see how their players are doing.
Two new goalies are joining the team this season after returning from LDS missions. Craig Mangum, from Leesville, La., and John Morris, from Centerville, hope to be successful at defending the goal.
Watkins is looking forward to BYU’s game against Ricks College. “It’s a great opportunity to see how our new goalkeepers play,” Watkins said.
The Cougars practice every Tuesday and Thursday for their spring practice. Watkins said the team has been doing a lot of running and conditioning because the weather didn’t permit them to practice outside. Fortunately, the weather has been cooperating with them lately, and they’re on the field practicing.
“It’s great to get onto the grass again,” Watkins said.
Nineteen players are currently on the team, and Watkins still plans to bring in several walk-ons. Matt Walker, nominated Idaho’s high school player of the year, is the newest recruit who will be joining BYU.
“Walker had a significant offer from U.C.-Irvine but denied it to come to BYU for free,” Watkins said.
Watkins said the soccer team is considered an extramural sport and doesn’t receive money from the university.
Without funding, the men’s soccer team is still able to compete and beat the best. BYU has won the club national championships for the past two years.