The WVU men’s soccer team will host Wright State this evening at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
After a lackluster campaign in 2012, junior forward Andy Bevin
of the West Virginia men’s soccer team has come out firing on all cylinders in 2013.
Following the departure of a large senior class, Bevin felt the need to step up and dedicate himself 100 percent to the team. His success in rallying the troops has been noticed and he has worn the captain’s band each game.
“I’ve had to be more of a presence on the team, both on the field and off the field. I have to be there for the boys to talk to, someone they can vent to,” Bevin said. “I want them to see me as a guy they can talk to about anything.”
The captain has set a goal for himself this season: one goal per game. That is quite a lofty goal for any player, but he has gotten off to a fast start with three in his first four matches.
“Personal goals are always secondary to the team’s goals. I still keep those goals very close to me, but my success will also be defined by the team’s success,” said Bevin.
Bevin currently ranks No. 3 nationally in assists (3), No. 19 in goals (3) and No. 4 in points (9). He also was named the Mid-American Conference’s Men’s Soccer Player of the Week for efforts last week in which he scored two goals and added two assists.
He attributes his success this season to staying in Morgantown this past spring and growing mentally and physically.
Following a freshman season in which he scored seven goals and was named the Big East Rookie of the Year, Bevin skipped the spring practice to go back to New Zealand in hopes of joining the national team for the World Cup qualifiers.
Spring strength and conditioning, Bevin said, was one of the times he’s had to work hardest in his life. The team used their upcoming 2013 season as a vision and grew closer to one another through their hard working mentalities.
“[Teammates] are more open and accepting of everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing, on the bench or even not traveling,” Bevin said. “Everyone sees each other as equal this year and the whole camaraderie of the team has changed.”
Bevin describes sport at the collegiate level in the United States as a challenge and ‘survival of the fittest’. The addition of strength and conditioning coach Tanner Kolb in August of 2012 has helped with this challenge and has also given Bevin motivation to improve.
“Bringing Tanner into the program has been a huge asset, not just from the physical training point of view, but his mindset and commitment to the team,” said Bevin. “Tanner is a great guy and has been a huge motivation for me.”
The junior superstar has also set goals academically. Although he dreams of a professional career in Major League Soccer or internationally, he holds himself to a high academic standard and works extremely hard to succeed.
“I hope with my personality and selling myself, I can present my skills and be on par with New Zealand [students],” said Bevin. “I know that I will have to do some more studying in the accounting programs back at home to get my CPA. Hopefully that’s a few years down the road and I’ll have a professional career.”
Although a bright future is promising for Bevin both professionally and academically, the time is now for WVU men’s soccer. Coming off of a win against defending national champion Indiana last weekend, he’s more excited than ever to play the game he loves.
“I always try to take what the games gives me. When you’re involved in those games and knocking off last year’s number one, that’s the reason you play futbol,” exclaimed Bevin. “I haven’t felt like that in a long time. It reminds you why you love the game and want a career involved in it.”