(Casper College Men's Soccer, Facebook)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper College Thunderbird Men’s Soccer team, holding the preseason 13th rank in the NJCAA, is gearing up for an intense season with a lineup that showcases a blend of experience and fresh talent.

The team boasts a total of 16 returning players who are set on redeeming themselves after a disappointing loss in the Region IX semifinals to Laramie County Community College during the previous year. This heart-wrenching encounter concluded with a 1–1 tie at the end of regulation, forcing the match into overtime. Ultimately, the Golden Eagles secured victory with a 17–16 win in a shootout.

Leading the charge are two familiar goalkeepers, Talon Luckie and Mads Huegel, accompanied by a defensive lineup featuring Hubert Deragon, Kohta Yamanashi, Sho Horie and Bogdan Stere. The forward positions are bolstered by Cole Venable, Alex Glover, Lewis Gordon and Isa Bramble. Louis Simon and Garrett Morris bring their prowess to the midfield, while Jose Gonzalez, Jules Foll, Hayden Hollinger and Yuto Hatayama contribute to both defense and midfield roles.

Head coach Ben McArthur praised the returning players for their preseason efforts.

“The returning players from last year’s team have shown great leadership this preseason. They are motivated to improve on last year’s disappointing loss in the region semifinals,” McArthur stated. “These 16 returning players have come into preseason very fit and ready to work hard. They are a special group of young men,”

The team’s ambitions are further elevated by the infusion of 10 new players. Linus Musielak, Kris Martial, Lukas Elze, Yusuke Higuchi, Akim Soulemana, Court Gonsalez, Hugo Amo, Hawkin Sweeney, Zack Meunier-Gorman and Trae Bennett are the fresh faces that are set to enhance the team’s dynamics.

“We added 10 new players and we expect them to improve the squad, and we have loved their attitude, effort and focus,” McArthur said.

The T-Birds’ upcoming season promises an array of exhilarating matchups. The season kicks off with a home opener against the Mighty Lizards of Truckee Meadows Community College on Aug. 17 at 5 p.m.

Additional home games include a clash with the Pronghorns of Gillette College on Aug. 21, the Central Wyoming College Rustlers on Aug. 30, the Cougars from Western Nebraska Community College on Sept. 2 and the Trappers of Northwest College on Sept. 4.

Conference games commence on Sept. 8 against the Plainsmen of Northeastern Junior College, followed by a matchup with the Runnin’ Lopes from Lamar Community College the next day.

All home games will take place on Murane Field, welcoming spectators at no cost.

The complete soccer schedule can be found here, or games can be viewed on the Casper College Athletics YouTube channel.

Press release by Lisa S. Icenogle.