College of Idaho Soccer winning with international flavor

College of Idaho Soccer winning with international flavor
CALDWELL - The College of Idaho men's soccer team has won 13 straight games and is one win from a berth in the NAIA national playoffs.

This season's success seems to stem from a combination of experience and an international flavor to the roster unique to many similar-sized schools.

Fifth-year coach Brian Smith said the influx of international athletes just sort of happened.

"We have kids from all over the world - Tokyo Japan, Equador, Nigeria, two from Brazil," Smith said. "It's all come together in a weird way, and we're fortunate it did."

Scholarship offers to a few foreign exchange students from area schools and word of mouth helped assemble the team. Japanese import Kazuki Murata's high school coach and C of I coach Smith knew each other. That's how Murata ended up in Caldwell three years ago.

Murata says it took a while to adjust to the more physical American style of play.

"it's much more physical and powerful here, I'm not a physical person, but this team is much more skill[ed] than the other teams.

And there's been much to share between teammates.

"They're good at airballs, headers, they teach me how to win airballs, [and] I can teach control of the game," Murata said.

Forward Garga Caserta, from Brazil, agreed with the increased physicality in American soccer, but says the Coyotes are skilled as well as physical. Something that compares to teams he played with in Brazil.

"We have a lot of skill on this team, and [even though] other teams are more physical, I can't really explain it, the way we pull out some games. It's how much we want to win, there's some big hearts on little guys out here."

The Coyotes have won 13 straight, and will play for the Cascade Conference Championship on Wednesday, November 12th at 1 p.m.

The Yotes have been playing games at Vallivue high school after poor weather made the College of Idaho soccer field unplayable earlier this season.