Murderas atop indoor soccer

BY KYLIE SEBERT | MARCH 01, 2010 7:30 AM

Rachel Jessen/The Daily Iowan
Hawkeye tennis player Reinoud Haal serves during a doubles match against DePaul on Sunday at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex. Haal and doubles partner Garret Dunn defeated Matija Palinic and Douglas Perrin, 8-4.
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Living up to its name, the Murderas have killed every squad it has faced so far during the intramural soccer season.

Made up of eight sophomores, the squad remains undefeated entering the third round of the indoor soccer playoffs tonight.

Five players hail from Des Moines, where they played club soccer together, which forward Tane Welling said has contributed to their success.

“We are used to each other’s style of play and have well understood communication, whether it is spoken or not,” he said. “It also helps that we are all very talented individually.”

Welling said his teammates’ individual talents are showcased throughout the game, making the team strong in every area.

He said Derek Stagg, a left-footed left midfielder, gives the Murderas a different look at the goal because many defenders find it difficult to cover him.

Chris Hansen and Nathan Hentschel — who also play for the UI club soccer team — have a huge role on defense, he said, and they give challengers a major obstacle before reaching the trustworthy keeper, Brandon Van Cleave.

Van Cleave, originally from Perry, Iowa, is new to this Des Moines bunch. But Welling said he has proved to be reliable. He has only allowed one goal in four games this season.

If the defense is stable, the team’s offense is exceptional. In four games, the Murderas have scored more than 20 goals and average approximately six per match.

As the eyes from behind, Van Cleave sees the teamwork flow.

“All of those guys play so well off of each other, passing the ball, playing each other’s game, and ultimately scoring goals,” the goalie said.

As a forward, Welling attempts to keep this sense of organization that Van Cleave sees throughout the game by playing the middle and distributing the ball to different people.

Hansen, the captain of the Murderas, said his squad’s impeccable teamwork comes from its previous playing experience. Their training also pushes it ahead of the competition.

“A lot of teams have clear weaknesses, but we don’t,” Hansen said. “I think this gives us a good chance at winning the championship.”

Success is nothing new to the team, although, an intramural championship in indoor soccer would be. While the young squad has dominated since stepping foot on the Bubble turf, the players didn’t participate last year.

Welling said the lives of him and his teammates revolved around soccer until they came to campus.

Then, they just wanted to focus on school.

Now as adjusted sophomores, they decided to pick up where they left off in high school.

“We decided to play because anytime we can, it’s a lot of fun,” Welling said. “Get a nice work out, a little competition, and maybe even win the championship.”

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