Mens soccer season wraps up

Longwood Men’s Soccer season came to an end after a Big South Conference defeat against Gardner-Webb. The team ended in a third-place Big South standing that ties the best finish for the program since 2013. For the first time since 2018, three players were selected to with Big South All-Conference honors.

Midfielder Marcus Gronli was selected for the First-Team All-Conference. This season, he scored seven goals and had five assists. Both Ander Etxaniz and Jonas Kalnacher were selected for the Second-Team All-Conference.  

Goalie Jacob Reimers, in his fifth year on the soccer team, surpassed more than a total of 200 saves during his soccer career. He was named Big South Defensive Player of the Week and is only one of two Lancers to play in every game. 

“This season we decided that we no longer want to sit back and defend,” said Reimers. “We want to fight back, and I feel like our preparation for this is much better.”

Reminers went on to praise both Head Coach Jon Atkinson and Assistant Coach Sean Pierce for their coaching dedication. 

“They both have their strengths, and they both communication with each other very well in training. Having the two together in balancing each other out and working well in tandem, has been the biggest thing, and it’s helped us prepare,” said Reimers. 

Atkinson has been the head coach for the team now close to 17 years. In his earlier years coaching, he led the Lancers to a pair of conference titles in the Atlantic Soccer Conference. Later, the Lancers joined the Big South Conference. In total, the Lancers under his leadership have participated in five conference championship games.

“Every pre-game we come with some structure. My job is relational and to read the guys to help out what they’re stressed about,” said Atkinson. “I also make sure as a coach that I speak to the players how I would want them to speak to their peers and lead by example.”

Throughout the season, the Lancers totaled 24 goals and 17 assists. The team averaged 13.1 shots per game and 1.30 goals per game. Overall, they had 236 total shot attempts. Atkinson recalled the team’s progress that he observed over the course of the season.

“The combination of maturation of the guys is just amazing. The starting eleven, are the older guys who have seen everything, and they just grew a brotherhood and bond. We have some very talented players on our team,” said Atkinson. 

Atkinson described the program-high third spot in the conference as something to celebrate. He was also very appreciative to all of the players and wished the best of luck to the graduating seniors. 

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