The men’s soccer team is ready to make a big jump in the Northwest Conference this upcoming fall season after last season’s strong finish. The Boxers finished off last season with a 7-11-1 overall record and a 5-8-1 conference record, which was good enough to earn them a share of fourth place.

Boxers will be returning a number of young players who are anxious to improve on last season’s progress.

“I am really excited about this season,” head coach Eric Mild said. “This is the first time in a while that we have a large number of returning players and won’t have to rely on fresh faces.”

Among those returning players are a pair of juniors twhat earned All-Conference Honors last season.

Forward Matt Kimball was named First Team All-Northwest Conference for the Boxers with a team high of eight goals last season and a pair of assists.

Goalkeeper Leyton Thommasen was the other Boxer who earned All-Northwest Conference Honors with a Second Team award for his NWC leading 76 saves a season ago along with four shutouts.

As a whole, Mild felt the team made great progress during last season and is looking to build off off that.

Once we settled into the system of play that best fit our team and got adjusted to the rigors of college soccer, the results started to come our way,” Mild said. “We were sorry to see last season end because I feel like we were just starting to jell.”

The men’s team not only will be bringing back experience to the field, but they will also bring in new talent that will add to the depth of the team and push the returners to get even better.

“This will be the first time we have significant competition for playing time at each position,” Mild said. “To me, that kind of atmosphere breeds success.”

The men’s soccer season will be underway starting Aug. 25, as they play an exhibition game against Concordia University at 6 p.m. in Portland.

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