In now his third season as head coach of Rutgers men’s soccer, Jim McElderry has seen steady growth for his program. This year, Rutgers finished a very solid 9-6-2 in what must unequivocally be called a step forward for the program.
It was a campaign that built on the spring season where the Scarlet Knights went 4-4-1.
“Definitely, [I] think we’ve grown in a lot of ways in terms of the depth of our team,” McElderry told ‘Rutgers Wire’ last week.
“We grew in the overall expectation of our group for what is needed to be a successful Big Ten team. We also had some moments when players were injured or sick, we had the guys to come in and play the way we wanted to play.
“Sometimes we needed a little more quality here in moments but overall, I’m happy with where the group is headed. You’re never satisfied though.”
The Rutgers men’s soccer program has a long history of success that includes appearances in the Final Four and a number of top players including Alexi Lalas, Hamisi Amani-Dove, Jon Conway, Joshua Gros and Dilly Duka among others. McElderry talked about the natural recruiting turf that Rutgers is centrally located in as being a real positive for his program, as are new facilities that include two new practice fields.
Looking back on the season, McElderry liked that his team played a lot of close games. For a young squad, this is important for building their mentality.
“We need to have those high expectations,” McElderry said. “I also felt really good about the mentality of our group.”