Brick and Mortar

Brick and Mortar

WATERTOWN, Wis. -- "Building years."

It's a cliche phrase among coaches, but sometimes, cliches gain popularity for good reason. So to say that this year for the Maranatha Men's Soccer team was a "building year" is no empty consolation for the disappointment of losing at the regional stage. In the mind of Coach Jeff Pill, the 2018 season was a legitimate stepping stone for a promising year to come.

Looking Ahead

What is Pill's confidence founded on?

Two things. First, a noteworthy group of four-year veterans that are set to return for the 2019 season - every last one of these nine seniors is a consistent playing option for the Sabercats, and in Coach Pill's mind, this may be the best class he's seen since he took over in 2008. And all in all, the Sabercats lose only two student-athletes for next season.

"This group [of seniors] is exciting," Pill notes. "They may hold even more potential than the group of seniors that helped us win the national title four years ago. We'll find out next season, but as a coaching staff, we are 'cautiously optimistic'."

Second, Coach Pill is optimistic because of the Sabercats' results against some top NCCAA DII programs. In September, the Sabercats were one goal away from eventual NCCAA DII champions, North Central University.

"I think our guys know how close we are to the top," said Pill. "Losing 0-1 to NCU in a competitive game shows that we are able to compete with the best team in the country."

The Sabercats' region has represented well at the NCCAA National stage. Since 2011, the region has produced five champions while fielding a team in the championship match in seven of the eight tournaments. Still, the Sabercats have not claimed the region crown since Pill's first year at the helm. While competing closely provides encouragement, Pill and the team know it's meaningless on paper.

"At the end of the day, we are still missing the pieces we need to get the results we want," Pill said. "We prioritize the 'process' of raising our own standards of execution, but we are missing the finishing touches we need to win the region."

Looking Back

The 2018 season brought disappointment, as the Sabercats had to weather eight consecutive losses to open the season. Of those eight defeats, five were one-goal games, and in a 2-0 loss to Webster, the Gorloks (who were ranked #7 in the NCAA regional rankings at the time) scored their second with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

So close, yet so far away.

MBU finished the season with a 6-13-0 record and lost in the NCCAA regional semifinal to Providence University College - the same team that denied the Sabercats the 2017 NCCAA North Region title. Still, despite a disappointing record, the group - who had lost 11 student-athletes from the previous season - showed they were capable of stepping into the vacant leadership roles and make an impact on the field.


At Tuesday's Athletic Awards Assembly, the Sabercats announced their team awards, which are based on the team's CORE BELIEF DOCUMENT and are determined by a team vote. In addition to these honors, the student-athletes earned awards from the Association of Division III Independents and the National Christian College Athletic Association.

A complete breakdown of the awards is listed below:

Process Award Joel Shepard
Qualities of the Heart Kevin Risma
Improvement Teddy Kincaid
Humility Zeke Steuerwald
Patience John Zockoll
Enthusiasm Tim Kinzler
Qualities of the Mind   Austin DeAngelo  
Initiative  Brendan Burckart
Character  Kevin Risma
Resilience Andrew Ice
Qualities of Action Brendan Burckart
Respect Caleb Hockema
Excellence Austin DeAngelo
Jamie O'Dell Leadership Award    Andrew Taylor
AD3I 1st Team All-Independent  
Caleb Hockema Zeke Steuerwald
Andrew Taylor (Goalkeeper of the Year)    
AD3I 2nd Team All-Independent  
Austin DeAngelo Tyler Nelson
NCCAA All-Region Selections  
Caleb Hockema Zeke Steuerwald
USC All-Wisconsin Team  
Zeke Steuerwald (Honorable Mention)  

For more on the program, visit their team page HERE.

Home Stretch
December 10, 2019 Home Stretch
Johnson Shines On
November 11, 2019 Johnson Shines On
Regional Hosts Announced
June 13, 2019 Regional Hosts Announced
Groundwork: Laid
May 17, 2019 Groundwork: Laid
One for Good Measure
May 16, 2019 One for Good Measure
Causin' More Trouble
May 14, 2019 Causin' More Trouble
Forward Steps
May 10, 2019 Forward Steps
Two Down
May 6, 2019 Two Down
Causin' Trouble
April 23, 2019 Causin' Trouble
Time of Transition
April 8, 2019 Time of Transition
Go Time
March 28, 2019 Go Time
One Mo Time
March 18, 2019 One Mo Time
Pushing New Limits
March 15, 2019 Pushing New Limits
Recapping Records
March 13, 2019 Recapping Records
Mo Again
February 26, 2019 Mo Again
Hello Again
February 23, 2019 Hello Again
One Against Two
February 23, 2019 One Against Two
Softball Season: Cancelled
February 21, 2019 Softball Season: Cancelled
Double Double-Double Double
February 19, 2019 Double Double-Double Double
Top Spot for Regionals
February 19, 2019 Top Spot for Regionals
Another Top Spot for Regionals
February 19, 2019 Another Top Spot for Regionals
Tricks in the Book
February 19, 2019 Tricks in the Book
Mo' for Mo
February 12, 2019 Mo' for Mo
Double-Double Double
February 5, 2019 Double-Double Double
Wilkerson Weekly
February 5, 2019 Wilkerson Weekly
Breaking Down Barriers
January 30, 2019 Breaking Down Barriers
Callie Mo Steals the Show
January 29, 2019 Callie Mo Steals the Show
Caribbean Connections
January 24, 2019 Caribbean Connections
Year 2
January 17, 2019 Year 2
The Main Event
December 21, 2018 The Main Event
Carrying the Mantle
December 15, 2018 Carrying the Mantle
Peaks and Valleys
December 11, 2018 Peaks and Valleys
Another Accolade
December 7, 2018 Another Accolade
Brick and Mortar
December 7, 2018 Brick and Mortar
Book Grabs Weekly Award
December 4, 2018 Book Grabs Weekly Award
They'll be Back
December 4, 2018 They'll be Back
NCCAA All-Americans Announced
November 28, 2018 NCCAA All-Americans Announced
Record-Setting Fall
November 26, 2018 Record-Setting Fall
Only the Best
November 26, 2018 Only the Best
Setting things Straight
November 26, 2018 Setting things Straight
Chasing Four
November 14, 2018 Chasing Four
Hansel Hoards Awards
November 12, 2018 Hansel Hoards Awards
On the Rise
November 9, 2018 On the Rise
Monthly Honors for Hansel
November 8, 2018 Monthly Honors for Hansel
Eyeing the Finish Line
November 8, 2018 Eyeing the Finish Line
Hands down Hansel
October 30, 2018 Hands down Hansel
Sponable Strikes Again
October 30, 2018 Sponable Strikes Again
Hats Off for Hansel
October 23, 2018 Hats Off for Hansel
A Nod for Nelson
October 23, 2018 A Nod for Nelson
New News, Old News
October 16, 2018 New News, Old News
Add it to the Collection
October 10, 2018 Add it to the Collection
Honors for Hernandez
October 9, 2018 Honors for Hernandez
Johnson, Sponable Shine On
October 9, 2018 Johnson, Sponable Shine On
Rankin Secures Weekly Award
October 2, 2018 Rankin Secures Weekly Award
Johnson Doubles Up
September 18, 2018 Johnson Doubles Up
Alumni Day 2018 Review
August 25, 2018 Alumni Day 2018 Review