Wheeling, W, Va. (WTRF) – It is just the first season for the pre-professional club but through 8 games, Ryan Wall and his players have dropped just one match and are in first place in the Men’s Valley League. This has even exceeded perhaps the team’s expectations.
“Honestly, I didn’t anticipate much. I mean starting only three months ago as a club – expectations were different across the board but it’s been a lot of fun. We’ve been able to gel pretty well and our chemistry has sky-rocketed since we’ve started,” Left Back Clayton Meredith said.
A high point this season came on Sunday when the Highlanders traveled to the Gem City of Dayton and dramatically beat the Dutch Lions FC. Dayton was undefeated in boths its current summer and past spring season. The Highlanders trailed 2-0 with just seven minutes to go in the match.
“We started pressing higher and higher (and) we were able to get the trying goal and they were really pegged back and we just kind of played a little bit more direct and (we) got a little bit of a fortunate bounce on a shot that kind of took the deflection off of a defender’s back and in the back of the net in about the 91st minute so (we) won in dramatic fashion and it felt good so 3 points to be at the top of the table – it’s great,” Associate Head Coach Brandon Regan said.
Like Walter White – the most important thing for the diverse club is chemistry.
“We’ve got a large kind of contingent of Spanish and Hispanic guys that gelled well together on the field. I think even the guys that are at Wheeling and West Liberty, I mean, there’s that rivalry there but they play in the same conference so they know what it’s all about and they know what the level’s like so I think from that starting point it hit off pretty well,” Regan said.
Another great quality for the Highlanders is that it’s a great team to get involved in for collegiate players. Clayton Meredith is a sophomore for Grove City College in Pittsburgh and Bernardo Vilchis is a senior at West Liberty. Vilchis is a senior at West Liberty. Vilchis is appreciative of the jobs done by Coach Wall and Regan.
“They brought this team together. We have a lot of players from different ages (and) different colleges and they work to get the group together and build this as a family,” Vilchis said.