The Binghamton University men’s soccer team is scheduled to continue its road trip this Saturday afternoon at the University of Vermont. The match against the Catamounts will be the second game of a three-game road trip for the Bearcats.
The Bearcats fell to 0-2 on the road in conference play following a loss at the University of Hartford Wednesday night. They’re just 2-6 away from the Bearcats Sports Complex this season.
Binghamton head coach Paul Marco’s main concern for their next road tilt is getting his players in the right frame of mind.
“It’s going to come down to the attitude of our players,” Marco said. “It’s easy to say ‘there’s a long bus trip,’ it’s easy to say ‘I’m tired, didn’t sleep in my bed,’ this and that. I think right now we just need to approach the match a little differently, but our preparation for the match won’t change much. We know the areas in which we need to improve, and part of that is just the attitude and mindset of our players.”
Marco wants to see the veteran players helping out the younger players, while playing at the top of their game.
“We’ve got two areas of stepping up needed,” he said. “For our older players, they need to be at their best, but they also need to make sure that the players around them are playing at their best. And then we’re asking the younger players to compete more than what they’re doing right now. They need to know in certain moments what’s required, and I think that’s the challenge for the younger guys right now … I think they need to just show a little bit more of a competitive edge, and I think we’re going to be pretty good on Saturday.”
Binghamton and Vermont have a lot of history from the past few seasons. The Bearcats defeated the Catamounts in the 2006 America East championship game, 1-0. Vermont returned the favor in the 2007 championship game, beating Binghamton by the same score. In last season’s regular season match, Binghamton topped Vermont 1-0 in front of a sellout crowd at the Bearcats Sports Complex.
Although Vermont has just one win this season, they have lost seven one-goal games. They also have five draws. The match will be no easy task, according to Marco.
“[The Catamounts] are extremely well-coached,” he said. “[Vermont head coach] Jesse [Cormier] was a former assistant of mine, so certainly he’ll have his team fired up for us … but, it’s a conference game; [Wednesday night] Hartford was fired up. Each team tries to bring the best out of their opponent, and bring the best out of themselves.”
Although a match with conference-leading University of New Hampshire is on the horizon, Marco doesn’t feel that it affects the importance of Saturday’s match, reinforcing that all the remaining matches are equally important.
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday.