With his last soccer season ahead of him, Pacific University senior Robert Nurmi focused on improving his game during the off-season to bring himself and teammates success. The striker may have led the Boxers in goals throughout the 2018 season, but he’s hungry to make a statement in his last year. 

The 2018 All-Northwest-Conference selection says Nurmi, “focused on fitness and getting constant touches on the ball,” so he could be prepared for the season ahead. Even spending the spring semester abroad didn’t stop Nurmi from improving his game, as he played for a team through the University of Western Australia during his stay.

This season, the biggest goal for the men’s soccer team is to build team chemistry and consequently achieve greater results. 

“We have a really young team this year, we hope to buy into the program to attain the results we expect,” Nurmi said. With a team majority of underclassmen, the Boxers say they use whatever time they have off the field to become closer on the field, which the team hopes will equate to wins. 

“We try to create a better team environment whether it is going off campus or heading to teammates houses for BBQ’s,” Nurmi adds.  

For the 2019 season the Boxers are unfortunately projected to finish last in the Northwest-Conference, but the striker thinks this will light a fire under the team in conference play. 

“We know we have something to prove,” Nurmi says. “And we want to prove the conference predictions wrong every time we play.” 

A young team and rough 2018 season may be the reason for such a projected standing, but the Boxers, including Nurmi, have no plans to finish that low. Nurmie believes the team will perform better than predicted based off the improvement he’s already seen between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. “Instead of getting down on ourselves, everyone has bought in and is putting in the work no matter what,” Nurmi said. 

As Nurmi looks to tally on goals for Boxers, he sees team chemistry and their environment as equally important to their success on the field. Knowing full well all players must be on the same page at all times to find wins, the off-season and out-of-conference games have prepared them for conference play. 

Nurmi looks forward to the “grind of conference” and “getting closer with teammates on road trips.” Provided the help of his Boxer teammates and motivated athletic leaders, nothing but the game stands in the way of Nurmi and the men’s soccer team.

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