To anyone familiar with the Men’s soccer team, their lineup may have looked a little different in their game against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday, March 27.
Seven players made their first start as Falcons, including Sophomore Tyler Speer, who scored his first two goals, leading to a 3-1 Falcon win. However, Speer was not quick to credit himself, but his teammates.
“The team really worked the ball around a lot and I think that the finish was just a product of a good team goal at the end.” Speer said. “Getting on the scoresheet is always exciting for your team and in both situations I helped the team get the lead.”
Speer’s first goal came as senior Titus Grant dribbled the ball down the field and drove a cross toward the box, where Speer was waiting to flick the ball into the net.
The Lutes would equalize at the beginning of the second half, but five minutes later, Grant converted a penalty kick to give the Falcons the lead. Barely thirty seconds after that, freshman Judah Johnson played the ball forward to sophomore Owen Gortner, who saved the ball from going out of bounds and sent a pass to the middle, where Speer was in the right place to deflect the ball into the net.
While this was Speer’s first college start, he has plenty of experience playing soccer, beginning to play around the age of four. Even though Speer stands at 5’6, he believes his height gives him an advantage, as his low center of gravity allows him to cut and change directions faster.
Speer’s club and high school coaches encouraged him to focus on how he compared to the competition at tournaments. As he talked to college coaches and faced tough competition at the tournaments, he knew that the next level could be a possibility for him.
Speer is originally from Grand Junction, Colorado, but has always enjoyed the Northwest and that played a big role in his choosing to come to SPU.
“The head coach here, Mark Collings, actually saw me play at a tournament in Phoenix, he was down there recruiting … Eventually I decided that this was the place for me,” Speer said.
Speer’s academic focus is in math and science, and he is studying to go to medical school. He is interested in the health process, though he’s unsure of what specialty he wishes to choose.
“I’ve just kind of fallen into it, really. I really enjoy getting involved and I’ve done some shadowing and volunteering in health care facilities,” Speer said.
As his sophomore soccer season progresses, Speer is looking to build his experience level and his relationships with his teammates.
“I think this team is super enjoyable to be around, I think all the guys are really committed to playing and trying to get better all the time,” Speer said. “All the guys are really close with each other as well, which is super nice … you can talk to any one of them and find something in common.”