Striving for Summertime: Members of the Men’s soccer team take advantage of summer to work on chemistry

Striving+for+Summertime%3A+Members+of+the+Men%E2%80%99s+soccer+team+take+advantage+of+summer+to+work+on+chemistry

Brian O'Neill

Photo by Austin Drucker

The Leopards moved to 1-1-0 in the season this week with a tough 2-1 defeat away at Rutgers on Sunday.

Lafayette started the season off on the right foot last Friday, defeating St. Peter’s at home by one goal with midfielders senior Alec Golini and junior midfielder Eric West involved.

A quick pass inside the box from a set piece situation caught St. Peter’s defenders off guard and gave West just enough time to power the ball home from close range.

West, a junior chemistry major, has been given major shoes to fill for the beginning weeks of the season, stepping in for injured senior midfielder Ryan Dodds, who has reliably occupied the central portion of the field in recent years.

“Ryan Dodds is and has been a big part of our team the last few years,” West said. “Unfortunately he sprained his ankle in a practice before our first game and is going to miss a couple of weeks because of it.”

“Before he got injured, Coach Bohn had primarily been using me at center back. Luckily, in my days of club soccer before Lafayette I primarily played midfield, so the transition has been relatively smooth,” West said. “Even though I wasn’t expecting to be playing midfield at the start of the season, I let coach know that I could adapt to whatever role he would need me to play.”

However, in light of his new responsibility and increased playing time, West admitted that he was also hoping for the senior to make a swift return.

“I think I have the same mindset as everybody else on the team in that we want Dodds to get healthy and back as soon as possible,” West said. “All of us will do whatever is necessary to help the team succeed.”

Head coach Dennis Bohn could face some difficult selection issues towards the middle of the season upon the return of Dodds.

West spent the summer preparing for this kind of opportunity, playing for a club team along with several other Lafayette players, including senior goalkeeper Sandy Leavy, senior midfielder Julian Plummer, and Golini.

“It was a good opportunity to stay fit and get some more time on the field with the guys,” West said.

West’s summer roommate Leavy was also on campus during his summer session. He said he is grateful he was able to bond with his teammates.

“Working in the admission office full time as an ambassador for the school allowed me to spend time with several of my teammates and take advantage of the athletic resources available on campus,” Leavy said. “Living on campus helped me focus on preparing myself for my senior season both physically and mentally.”

Lafayette will face off with Fordham this Friday away to the Rams, pursuing a second win in the 2014 campaign.