Record not an accurate measure of success for men’s soccer

Season success can’t be summed up by numbers for the UK men’s soccer 2010 season.

UK (7-8-4) posted a losing record on the season. However, its players believe, given the circumstances, this could be a benchmark season for the team.

The Cats started the season on a sour note, plagued with injuries and several players’ eligibility in question. The Cats instantly had to find ways to adjust, playing over a dozen different starting lineups on the season. Seemingly they could never have a steady group of players on the field.

At one point this season, the Cats had 15 players either injured or not eligible, nearly half of the 32-man roster.

With the injuries UK had to rely on players with little Division I soccer experience. On the season, 75 percent of the minutes played by UK were by first-year players, whether transfers or freshman.

Even with the misfortune, the Cats were competitive this season, even in some of their losses. UK tallied nine overtime games, a school record, and they were able to settle in late in the season and post a 4-4-2 Conference USA record, good enough for third place in a conference that sent four teams to the NCAA tournament.

“To finish third in this league, that has five legitimate top-25 teams and finish in front of Tulsa, who at one time was No. 2 in the country, it says a lot about our resolve,” UK head coach Ian Collins said.

If how the Cats finish is any indication of where they might be heading, UK could come in with momentum. In UK’s last 10 games, it was only defeated three times. UK finished its season with a national RPI ranking of 42.

UK will head into next season only losing three players. It will get some of its previously-ineligible players back on the pitch next season, including Brazilian Marco Bordon and highly-touted Englishman Josh Mulvany.

This season will go into the record books as a losing season but UK has shown it won’t be a nonfactor next year.