Golini set to return

Golini+set+to+return

Brian O'Neill

Junior forward Greg Biggiani goes stride for stride with the ball, pushing the ball upfield.

Photos courtesy of  Lafayette Athletic Communications

The fifth-year senior captain of the soccer team Alec Golini is set to make his heavily anticipated return this weekend against Navy.

After a strong start to the season, the midfielder was brought down hard against Cornell just two weeks in.

Golini helped to inspire the men’s soccer team early on, tallying 7 shots and 1 assist in the four games he played.

“As a whole I thought we were playing well, obviously it was early in the season and we were still trying to build chemistry and get used to how we play, and get prepared and work out all the difficult spots in the team,” Golini said.

With this being his last season at Lafayette, time ticked by very slowly as the road to recovery began.

“I think it’s been very frustrating to have to go from playing a ton to having a rehab I didn’t expect,” Golini said. “But I’m someone who takes things positively, and it could’ve been worse.”

Frustration clearly nagged at the senior, who was desperate to rejoin his teammates

“Its frustrating because I am back for a fifth year, and this is my fifth season,” said Golini, “ I really wanted to make sure I was out there every game, so it was kinda frustrating to have to sit out with an injury after going playing close to 90 minutes a game.”

However, plenty of positive came onto the field as Golini came off.

Junior midfielder Quenton Anson helped fill the space left by Golini, as well as junior defender Eric West and sophomore midfielder Ryan Egan.

“From a positional standpoint we have a number of guys that can play center midfield,” continued the injured senior, “we have guys that should start that probably weren’t able to because we have so many good players this year; so much depth – guys who could really be starting and they ended up on the bench to start the season.”

Undefeated in four of the last five games, it seems as though the Leopard reserves filled in as well as Golini expected.

“We have plenty of guys who can play,” Golini said. “No matter what happens with injuries, you know, with guys playing good, guys playing bad, and guys stepping into a role and accepting a position they might not have had in the past.”

Along with speed and creativity, Golini left a large gap in the form of his leadership, which required other members of the team to step up in more ways than one.

“From a leadership standpoint it is difficult for younger guys to be forced into a leadership role right away with me being injured unexpectedly,” the captain admitted, going on to mention the invaluable contribution of senior defender Julian Plummer in his absence.

“With Julian, one of the best leaders the program has ever seen, the team was in good hands. Of course I’d love to be out there and talk to guys and be able to offer my leadership. I think there’s certainly something I can add and I can’t wait to get back,” Golini said.

Golini will make his return this saturday in a crucial Patriot League fixture against Navy, who have looked strong this season with a 4-4-2 record.

The Leopards go into this game coming off of a difficult 2-1 loss to Colgate.

“We have the whole season in front of us; all our goals are attainable. There are just some little things, like we missed a few opportunities to put Colgate away and we let them stay in the game when they shouldn’t have,” reflected Golini. “We want to make it to the playoffs, and get ourselves in a position where we can win a championship. We can still do that, we have a lot of games. Hopefully we get the wins that we need.”

“I think we’ll learn from that and hopefully carry some of that momentum after we get a win against Navy this weekend,” Golini remarked.

Senior Tom McCutcheon drives the ball downfield to teammates at Metzgar Fields.
Senior Tom McCutcheon drives the ball downfield to teammates at Metzgar Fields.
Junior Quentin Anson cuts up the field and looks to pass the ball to a teammate.
Junior Quentin Anson cuts up the field and looks to pass the ball to a teammate.