After serving as an assistant coach for Millersville University for almost a decade, Slippery Rock head men’s soccer coach Steve Small will see his old squad for the second time since being named SRU head coach in 2016. The Marauders were ranked 25th nationally for last year’s contest and are ranked #22 heading into this weekend.
“I always look forward to seeing them, but they are a team that is in our way,” Small said. “Last year had more meaning to it, but we’re treating it like any other game. Obviously there is a bit more fuel added to it because of who it is.”
During Small’s time at Millersville, they won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) once and the region twice, advancing as far as the national semi-finals in 2011.
The team amassed an impressive 113-57-11 record during his eight-year tenure with the Marauders. Millersville’s current head coach, Steve Widdowson, started the same year as Small and has continued the success for the program, with his squad finishing as the PSAC runner-up last year.
Even though Small is now at SRU, he still contributes to Millersville’s success, as the roster contains 17 players that Small had a hand in recruiting, which he says doesn’t matter as much anymore.
“I’m far enough removed that this is my home now and this is my team. It’s not so much a factor anymore,” Small said.
In addition to his previous team coming into town, this weekend marks SRU’s homecoming, making it a double-homecoming of sorts for small, and the first time his team will be playing on the Friday of homecoming weekend.
“Playing on a Friday is a bit different, because all the festivities start Friday night after our game, so I’m not sure how much stock is going to be put into our game. Hopefully we are included with everything going on on campus. It’s homecoming, it’s an exciting time.”
No matter what happens, Small is just grateful that his team gets to play at home during the celebrations.
“We’re fortunate that we get to be home, some teams like volleyball are away this weekend. It would be great if we were all here for homecoming, but the schedule is what it is.”
The Green and White will play two games this weekend during homecoming celebrations. The first game will be today at 1 p.m. at James Egli field versus #22 Millersville. The other contest will be at California (Pa.) on Sunday, at 1 p.m.