The Binghamton men’s soccer team has continued its hot start, defeating Colgate 2-1 to earn its second win of the season. The Bearcats were led by Swiss freshman sensation, forward Noah Luescher, who gave his squad a 1-0 lead in the fifth minute of play, scoring his second goal and recording his third point of the 2017 campaign.
“The opponent was very good tonight and we are probably pretty fortunate to come away with three points,” said BU head coach Paul Marco. “But the way that this group is now, they have such strong belief as a young group.”
BU was tied with the defending Patriot League champion heading into the last 25 minutes of the game. Freshman midfielder Chris Stamper took matters into his own hands, providing a timely goal for BU off a free kick. The goal broke the tie with Colgate (0-2) in the 77th minute.
Another huge standout for the Bearcats was their goalkeeper, redshirt sophomore Alejandro Cubillo. The 6-foot-2-inch native of Madrid, Spain held a potent Colgate offense in check, recording nine saves and allowing only one goal. The BU defense also showcased its skills by denying all 12 of the Raiders’ corner kicks.
“Two weeks ago, I wouldn’t have expected us to have that many young guys on the field, but due to some injuries, that’s where we are,” Marco said. “I’m thrilled for the guys — a lot of guys now are getting some minutes that might have been a little more difficult for them to get and they’re making the most of them.”
Binghamton’s offense was not as fortunate when it came to corner opportunities, as the team only kicked one from the corner all game. The Bearcats were also outshot 25-10 in the match. The young offense took advantage of their rare opportunities, scoring both goals off of free kicks.
At any given time, there were six freshmen on the field for the Bearcats, exemplifying their commitment to developing their young talent.
“[Luescher’s] a down-to-earth guy [and] he doesn’t get too down,” Marco said. “I like that he gets excited after he scores goals, and things have been well for him, but he comes back every day and trains to just improve. He wants to become a better player and he’s got a great mindset for that.”
The Bearcats’ defense went into action during the late stages of the game, shutting down multiple offensive pushes from the Raiders, most notably in the form of saves from Cubillo.
In the 85th minute, the BU goalkeeper ran a few yards out and deflected a shot on net from Colgate junior midfielder Tim Oberg. Cubillo went on to save two more headers from senior defender Karl Brown and junior forward Abdel Sanogo in the remaining five minutes.
“First, we need to get some rest and get some guys back healthy,” Marco said. “We seem to be losing a guy every game; I was very pleased with the performance we got tonight.”
In the final five minutes, Luescher went down after a collision and made an early exit. According to Marco, Luescher is okay and expected to play in the next game.
“[Luescher] is a great teammate, and I think all the freshmen are great teammates,” Marco said. “They have been terrific teammates, great followers. They’re playing their part, they’re listening to the older guys, trying to do the right thing, so I’ve been very pleased with our younger guys.”
The Bearcats are scheduled to play next Friday against JMU in the James Madison Tournament. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Sentara Park in Harrisonburg, Virginia.