Soccer Star Bryce Evans Sets the Stage for Victory

Anna Watson, Staff Writer

After over a year off from play, the 2021 Bloomsburg Men’s Soccer team has won their first four games of the season and is in contention to win the PSAC East under first year head coach Mark Bassett.

In 2019, the Huskies had a mediocre overall record of 7-11, with a 5-7 record against the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). This season however, the Huskies have obtained possession of first place in the PSAC East with their undefeated record (4-0), over Millersville, Shippensburg, and West Chester, who are also in the top four.

Most notably, in their second win of the season vs. Mercyhurst, the star of the show, was none other than junior midfielder Bryce Evans (Schnecksville, PA). The game was close going into the second half, and much was at stake for the Huskies. As the second half commenced, BU. was outshot by the Lakers 11-2, however the Huskies remained resilient, and drew a free kick because of a Mercyhurst yellow card.

From there it was all teamwork, as the trio of Whitham, Harmon, and Evans worked together to score the go-ahead goal of the game in the 67th minute. When asked about his thought process going into the free kick, and how it felt scoring his first goal of the season, Evans stated, “I tried to separate myself from the rest of my team in case the ball popped out toward the other side of the box. Liam Harmon made a great header to me and I was able to finish it. It felt awesome to get the goal and for the team to move to 2-0 against Mercyhurst, who is a very good side.”

Thanks to Coach Basset, as well as graduate assistant coach Louis Connor, the maroon and gold have started off on the right foot, which has most definitely motivated the entire team to work hard, with a drive to become the best they can be.

Bryce Evans remarked on his impression of Coach Bassett and optimistically stated,  “Coach Bassett has been great for our program. He became our head coach at the beginning of our Spring Season, where he was able to get to know us and build a playing style that has translated into early success this fall. Our coaching staff including Coach Louis Connor, is doing great at motivating us. They emphasize making the most of every game especially as older members of the team have limited time left as college players. We want to make the most of our time here at BU.”

Throughout his career at Bloomsburg, Evans has started in 36 games, and has 2 goals, 2 assists, and 6 points.  Additionally, this past June, Evans was named to the 2020-21 Academic All-District First Team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) and has also achieved two PSAC Scholar-Athlete and one D2 ADA Scholar-Athlete awards.

When asked about his goals, and how the team has been working to prepare for the 2021 season, Bryce remarked, “Our goal for the season is to make the PSAC playoffs and then win the PSAC. Preparation for this season has been different with COVID-19 taking away our last season.  It’s been almost two years since we played a college game. Everyone came into the season in shape and ready to win. Off the field, we spend time together becoming closer as teammates and friends.”

Even though COVID has had a huge impact on student athletes all across the nation, the Huskies are remaining optimistic, and keeping their heads held high. After the last four wins, including an over-time dub last Saturday, the momentum is definitely building, as the team continues to build off of each other, and their oncoming competition. Nevertheless, how can the Huskies continue to maintain a winning attitude, both physically and mentally?

Evans expressed, “Starting the season 4-0 has been a great start leading into conference play. We need to continue taking it one game at a time and doing what makes us successful to keep the momentum going.”

The Huskies will play their first PSAC Conference game, this Wednesday September 15th at 7 P.M. at home. With the bar set high, the Huskies look to remain undefeated, in their quest to become PSAC East Division winners in 2021.