IPFW is eager to get the season started after the results of an exibition game against duke, who is ranked 23rd in the nation, with the number one recruiting class.
It was only a scrimage but tying with duke WAS big news for IPFW soccer.
Four year player Liridon Qafreshi said that, "having a tie against them speaks very well of us because it shows what we can really do this season and the great incoming class we have. It means everything."
Coach Mike Harper agreed saying that, "it was a great test for our kids. We had several opportunities to get a head of them. I am very pleased with the outcome. After the result with Duke the boys are pumped up. I just saw a few of them walking on campus and they were telling everyone how well they did. It's time to come back to reality and get started with the season and the kids are pumped up for it."
Since Coach Harper took over five years ago the team has been rebuilding.
"We're finally getting the players that we need in here. We have a great incoming class this year a bunch of freshman that are doing real well. We've struggled in the past a couple years and this year it's time to break through," stated Harper.
Qafreshi chipped in that, "we've been through a battle. We've had so many talented guys in here, coming hard, staying in shape, but sometimes things just don't go your way."
IPFW said that they appreciate the support the community has shown them.
"We have a great following with Alumni. It was amazing how many text messages, facebooks, emails that I got just after playing duke. The one that I remember came from a buddy in indianapolis that didn't get to see it but he said that he's proud to be an IPFW Alumn," explained Harper.
Qafreshi expressed graciously that, "ever since I've been in Fort Wayne, it's been a big soccer city. Having little kids just cheering you on means so much to us as players."
IPFW had nine overtime loses in 17 games last year and with the season starting friday they have made some big goals for themselves.
"Our goal is to be the conference champs. And I think we have a really good chance of doing that," Qafreshi expressed.
Coach Harper said that he wants to team to get, "hopefully a lot of wins. Our goal is to get in the conference tournament and do well."
Part of the excitement for the upcoming season arises from the talented freshman. Two started against Duke and freshman Jason Mills was the one to score the tying goal. IIPFW kicks off the season this Friday in Milwaukee. They bring it back on Sunday for the home opener against Bradley.