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2023-24 Men's soccer season preview

2023-24 Men's soccer season preview

By Ryan Hyndman

After returning to the AUS championship playoffs in 2022, the Dalhousie Tigers men’s soccer team is excited to hit the pitch to tackle some unfinished business.

Last season, the Tigers finished in sixth place after an undefeated home record and grabbed the final playoff spot before falling to the UNB Reds 1-0 in extra time of the quarter-final matchup.

Although the season did not end the way the team wanted it to, head coach Alan Jazic recognized that returning to the playoffs was a key goal for the squad in 2022.

Looking ahead to the 2023 season, coach Jazic’s main priority is to continually improve.

“The expectation for the upcoming season is to always improve and move the program forward. I’m really excited about the upcoming season as we feel that we are heading down that path.”

Returning player and team captain Luke Berryman shares similar thoughts.

“Coming off the back of a short-lived playoff experience, we are looking to challenge for the AUS title,” says Berryman. “You have to set your goals and standards at the highest level or else you will never achieve excellence.”

Forward progress will be a focus for the team this year.

“I don’t really like to look in the past, but what last year showed is that we can compete with anyone,” adds Jazic. “With a little more discipline and consistency, this group can achieve great things together.”

The Tigers will have several key players returning to the lineup in 2023 including Berryman, Suliman Elomrani, Wilfreid Kindo, Connor Manuel and Riley Workman among others.

“With the summers Luke, Suliman and Kyle Routledge have had training with the Halifax Wanderers and being in that environment, we will look to them to take our program and team to the next level.” says Jazic.

With most players sticking around the Halifax area for the summer, putting in the work with strength and conditioning coach Brett Armstrong and training together, Jazic is confident about the upcoming season.

“I feel that our returning players are at that right level physically and mentally, and now know what it takes to compete in the AUS.”

Coach Jazic is also quite excited about the incoming recruits and how they may be able to contribute to the team.

“Historically, this team has struggled to score goals. We’ve addressed that with the additions of Ben Hashimoto, Moe Wahdan and Ben Thompson. All three were a part of their respective province’s Canada Games programs and Moe and Ben Hashimoto were a part of the Wanderers summer series events.”

Additionally, Jazic is thrilled to add recruits Jacob Moore and Charles Crowther.

“Both men compete at a high level and will bring great energy to the team. We also brought in other very talented players who will be fantastic long-term contributors to our program with the focus being on development.”

Finally, after goalkeeper Aiden Rushenas signed with the Wanderers, Jazic is optimistic about the addition of two new recruits in that position.

“Sinclair Astridge out of British Columbia and Emmett Workman of Halifax City will be coming in hungry and motivated to earn the start.”

Having experience as a student-athlete, along with other returning players, Berryman believes they can help new recruits be successful both on and off the pitch.

“Trying to balance high performance sport during university is not easy, so I think being able to offer guidance and advice on that relationship will help the younger guys out.”

The Tigers have been working hard in the off season and are heavily motivated to improve upon last year’s finish.

“Our team and our players have shown a lot of growth and development over the last year. I think our playoff loss to UNB last year, a game we really deserved to win, showed to us how close we are,” says Jazic.

With a perfect home record last season, the team’s play away from Wickwire Field will be an area of focus this season.

“I think our form on the road can improve, and that’s one area of focus we want to make sure is better this season,” adds Berryman.

The men’s soccer pre-season features three home games, beginning with a match against Acadia on Monday, August 21, at 6:00pm, followed by Saint Mary’s (August 26, 7:15pm) and Mount Saint Vincent University (August 28, 6:00pm).

The Tigers kick off their regular season with a trip to Newfoundland to battle Memorial for two games on Friday, September 1, at 6:45pm AT and Sunday, September 3, at 12:45pm AT. Both matches will be streamed live on

Tigers fans will then be able to enjoy a Sunday afternoon home opener against Mount Allison on September 10, at 3:15pm.

Berryman is excited to play in front of the Tigers fans again.

“On a personal note, I’m really looking forward to playing at home. I was happy with the support we received at home games last year which made Wickwire a difficult place for other teams to come play.”