I haven’t been to a men’s soccer game this season. Granted, they’ve only played twice in Queens and trips to Providence, R.I. and Charlottesville, Va. may be pushing it on my college-student budget and for the budget of this modest college newspaper. But that’s no excuse.
In this current state of the Red Storm athletics, and all the obvious basketball-related implications that statement comes with such a neutral statement, this soccer team is something we must really cherish.
I must therefore struggle to excuse my absence.These guys are ranked No. 5 in the nation by the NSCAA and No. 9 by Soccer America. No excuse there.
These guys are undefeated and have only been scored upon once, and even that was in a game where starting goalkeeper Neal Kitson wasn’t on the field.
They’re coming off a win where they controlled Virginia Tech, a team that has beaten the Storm in the previous two consecutives seasons, and beat the Hokies 3-0. The win was so dominating that it knocked Virginia Tech from a No. 22 national ranking to not even receiving a single vote by the coaches association.
The whole country and 888 fans at Sunday night’s game are starting to notice that this team is for real and may have a real shot to do what a Red Storm team did just 12 years ago: win an NCAA tournament.
Kitson has been the Big East Goalkeeper of the Week twice already. Rory Quinn has been named Big East Defensive Player of the Week and standout freshman Connor Lade has been on the conference’s weekly honor roll. Still no excuse.
Kitson, who was faced with the daunting task of replacing longtime and much-loved Red Storm net minder Jason Landers, has been downright phenomenal. He’s registered 21 saves already this season. In Landers first five starts of 2007 he made 14 and had given up three goals in a game, a Sept. 28 loss to UConn. Kitson is a reason to go see this team. Still, I can’t find an excuse.
Adam Himeno has had his name shine bright in Belson lights too. His three goals have all been game-winners and he leads the Storm in that category, as well as in shots, with ten, and shots on goal, with six. Again, no excuse.
Lade is just a freshman and has started all six games and played more minutes than anyone on the team besides Ben Clack. No excuse there either. I’d love to see what the future of the Red Storm defense is capable of.
I give up. There are only reasons to go and not excuses not to stay away. Although I must admit something, I sort of figured that would be the case.
For the past two seasons that I’ve been following this team, it’s seemed as if they’ve been on the verge of doing something huge. This could be the year and I don’t want to miss it.
Next Friday, when the Red Storm take on UConn, I will be at Belson Stadium. I’m sorry for my absences. They were completely inexcusable.