Men’s soccer starts camp with trio of new captains

By Aaron Parker and By Aaron Parker

After a 14-6-1 season, a MAC championship berth and a summer off, the Bowling Green men’s soccer team opened its practice fields to start their preseason.

“Practices are going well, we’re starting out small and getting to know each other and what positions we’re going to play,” senior Ryan James said. “Right now we’re just getting in to tactics and where we should all be on the field when we are attacking and defending.”

The team returns head coach Eric Nichols for his seventh year at the helm after he led the Falcons to their most wins in a single season in over a decade.

In addition they will see eight starters return to the program and an additional seven letter winners.

Even with all the success the team saw last season, they are looking past it and not using it as a goal setter for the upcoming year.

“You just expect the best from everyone. You can’t expect the same things we did last year because we’re a different team,” James, who was also picked as a team captain, said. “No matter how we do this season, we shouldn’t look at last season and compare. We just need to do our best.”

James was named a captain along with redshirt junior Max Auden and senior Jake Genrich. Auden was a MAC all-tournament selection last fall while James and Genrich were each names to the All-MAC second team.

The trio was an integral part of last season’s success, making up three of the five players who played and started in every game last season. Each of them played over 1900 minutes.

“The three guys who have been chosen as captains are exceptional young men who lead by example, but more importantly they follow it up and hold their teammates responsible for the things that our team values,” Nichols said. “These three are overly committed to high standards and doing whatever they can to help their teammates to operate with those same standards.”

The team will also see the return of junior forward Pat Flynn. Flynn has been named a nominee of the Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy, the most prestigious individual award in college soccer.

“It’s a great honor, I’m extremely grateful,” Flynn said. “It’s also a huge team award for us. You look at some of the other teams on the list; there are a lot of great teams. You see Bowling Green’s name on there and it shows how great of a season we had last year as a team. We had so many players with great seasons last year that aren’t getting enough recognition.”

Flynn led the team last year with 14 goals and 32 points. Those totals in a season are the highest by and Falcon since 1996 and has him tied for third highest in program history in only his first season with the team.

He had six game winning goals scored on his own last season and was directly involved in assisting three more.

The team is set to scrimmage Cincinnati on Saturday in a lone exhibition before beginning its regular season.

Their season and home opener will come against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Friday, August 28.