Titans head into conference games playing well

The Titans celebrate a goal. Photo courtesy of Titans Sports Info



The men’s soccer team wasted no time coming into preseason ready to play.

“Three out of the past four games have gone into overtime and in those three we are undefeated,” said Ryan Pierson, a senior defender. “Everyone came back from summer ready to go.”

The impressive start to the Titans preseason did catch the eye of the United Soccer Coaches organization.

They ranked the Titans in the top 10 North Region poll for the past two consecutive weeks.

“We were really pleased and excited with the ranking,” said Demetri Pliakos, a senior forward captain. “But we know as a team we can’t stop there.”

Results early in the season like this are not by sheer luck.

Head coach Nicholas Deren has been working with the men’s soccer program. He is in his 12th season as head coach.

Pliakos credits his coach “a tremendous amount of growth from all our players.”

“I think that speaks to the practices coach Deren has for us,” he said.

The Titans’ competitive atmosphere was put on full display when they faced off against the University of Michigan with a man down for nearly 90 minutes and came away with a tie.

“That game set the pace for us,” said Jackson Towers, a sophomore defender. “This game showed us what we are truly capable of.”

However, the Blue and Red have their eyes set beyond past games and are looking forward to conference play.

The Titans, 1-1-2, will hit the road for their first match in the Horizon League, taking on Cleveland State this Saturday, Sept. 18.

“We feel extremely prepared and excited to begin conference play,” said senior Pierson. “But we also hope that for our home games we will get a lot of support from the fans, too.”

The home opener will be on Wednesday, Sept. 29, against Green Bay at 2 p.m. at Titan Field.