Sports Staff Writer
Jonas Fjeldberg (cover photo) was named A10 Offensive Player of the Year. Courtesy of Dayton Athletics
University of Dayton men’s soccer team finished this season in the top-10 in total goals, assists and points in the nation. I asked junior Jonas Fjeldberg, from Jessheim, Norway, about this accomplishment.
“We had some great players on offense this year and we complement each other very well,” he said. “This achievement is great and gives us an extra boost to keep working for the next year and improve even further in that aspect.”
The fact that Fjeldberg was named Atlantic 10 (A10) Offensive Player of the Year, senior Cole Watkins was named A10 Defensive Player of the year and freshman Xavier Zengue was named A10 Rookie of the Year testifies to the Flyers’ strength as a team.
This season, UD did well by its own standards. Dayton recorded the third most wins in program history and had the third longest winning streak – eight games. Fjelderg summed it up from a leading player’s point of view: “We started off really rough and had a bad record after six played games. We decided that something needed to be done and we stepped up our game. A lot of players got on a roll and we just couldn’t be stopped it seemed like. We went into every game very confident that we were going to win.”
UD held a record of 9-1 at home this season, and of course Flyer fans and players don’t underestimate the power of the Red Scare.
“We look at our home field as our ‘house.’ We say there is no place like Baujan field, not only because of the location, but because of the Red Scare and the fans,” Fjeldberg said. “I had opponents telling me in the middle of the game that they hate to play here because they feel inferior to us because of the fans. Red Scare makes it feel like we are playing with an extra players on the field.”
This intensity is matched by Fjeldberg’s sense of leadership on and off the field.
“The most important thing for me is to maintain my credibility and that is done with performances on the field,” he said.
Fjeldberg touched on how he also strives to maintain leadership status in the classroom and locker room. Personally, he mentioned his growth as a player that furthered his achievements this season. Specifically, he noted that he took way better care of his body.
“Last year I was pretty reckless with what I let my body go through and that had a negative impact on me,” Fjeldberg continued. “This year I took care of the small details and I was way smarter in the choices I made mid-season.”
Clearly, though, Fjeldberg is not easily satisfied and he sees a lot of potential in the team, emphasizing the current great players in the program and his confidence that there is no limit to what they can accomplish together. When speaking with Fjeldberg, I asked about future personal and team goals. He responded with the importance of bringing back the A10 Championship Title next year, adding that his goal is “to stay healthy and make contributions on the field and off the field that helps the team in all aspects.”