Despite suffering a pair of losses this past weekend at the James Madison Tournament in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the Binghamton men’s soccer team is already looking ahead to its competition this Friday against George Mason University, where the freshman-heavy team will seek to gain a victory away from home.
With a number of seniors on the team facing injury, the amount of playing time for several of the new players has increased dramatically, and these rookies do not seem willing to let this opportunity go to waste.
Freshman midfielder Noah Luescher has already scored two goals over the past four games, and perhaps most notably, Luescher assisted junior forward Nikos Psarras to help score against No. 15 Virginia Tech in a match this past Sunday.
“[Luescher]’s got a promising career here at Binghamton, so I only wish him the best, and I’m so happy I got to play with him,” said redshirt senior midfielder Charlie Novoth.
Luescher is not the only freshman to see himself in the spotlight, either. Freshman midfielder Chris Stamper also netted a goal to break a 1-1 tie in the 77th minute of play against Colgate earlier this season.
Binghamton has gone 2-2 overall so far, though none of its matches have been within the America East (AE) Conference. Bolstered by an unexpected amount of freshman talent, it will be interesting to see how far the Bearcats can push their success among the conference competition.
“The freshmen right now, they’re really imposing themselves on the team,” Novoth said. “Alongside them, that’s why the team is just looking phenomenal. I’m happy and glad that I’m able to partake in that.”
The players appear especially excited about the idea of making it to the AE Finals at the end of the season. Multiple upperclassmen had the opportunity to travel to the AE Finals when BU qualified in 2015, and now they want to be able to experience that intensity again.
At the preseason press conference in mid-August, both Novoth and teammate junior back Kevin Flesch could be seen wearing shirts with the words “The Journey” emblazoned on the front, representing their primary goal this season of making it to the championship.
Facing hardship or glory, the squad seems more unified in the opening matches than in recent memory. This cohesiveness undoubtedly translated into the way the team helped Luescher transition into life at BU, which he spoke of in a recent press conference.
“The team is great,” Luescher said. “There are some awesome players who welcomed me really nicely. Of course in the beginning, in the first one or two weeks, I had some troubles, I was a little homesick. I missed my family, I missed my friends back in Switzerland, but it’s a great team. They make it really easy for me to adjust to the team, to the new environment. I got a lot of help from them, from the coaching staff.”
With sights set on the rest of the season, the team looks to do well in the matches leading up to their Sept. 30 AE debut. After their losses this weekend, BU head coach Paul Marco indicated that although the team was disappointed, it would not look to make any drastic changes in its routine.
“We’ll take [Monday] off, the guys will rest and recover,” Marco said. “Then we’ll get back at it Tuesday and Wednesday, and then we leave Thursday morning to head down to George Mason.”
Seeking its third win of the season, BU is scheduled to take on George Mason University on Friday. Kickoff is slotted for 7:30 p.m. from the George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Virginia.