LHU Men’s Soccer builds of ECAC title heading into 2019
By SAM KUPERMAN
For The Express
Lock Haven University men’s soccer capped the 2018 season in an unexpected way, by winning an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship. The momentum from that 3-0 victory over Salem University is something that LHU and fourth-year head coach Patrick Long will try to bring with them into the 2019 season.
The ECAC championship invitation is something that many non-playoff teams tend to pass on. In theory it doesn’t count for much, since it doesn’t help a program do anything in the NCAA tournament. However, Long saw this as an opportunity, one that the Bald Eagles pounced on. Now the hope is the residual effect of that mid-november title LHU secured will benefit a team looking to take the next step in the year ahead.
Junior midfielder Beckham Sibiski headlines the LHU squad, coming off an All-PSAC Second Team award in the 2018 season. He was fifth in the PSAC in goals with eight during that year. LHU brings back its top five goal scorers from last year’s squad.
Now a senior, midfielder Brian Flatter tied for the team lead in points with 22. Just like Sibiski, he too had eight goals and six assists. Juniors Shane Colegrove and Reggie Holt, along with senior Andrew Moore, round out that top five.
The Haven returns its net minders from the 2018 team, including redshirt-junior Camden Cook. He started 13 games last year. Sophomore keeper Jason Keller, a Port Matilda native and State College Area High School graduate, got some valuable experience as well last year. He made all the stops in that ECAC title game victory as he got the start there.
Lock Haven has improved its win total every year under Long. Last year the team went 8-7-3. Trying to up that total will be a challenge in the PSAC. The Bald Eagles get four of their six non conference meetings out of the way to begin the season, giving the team a chance to gel before things start to count towards the PSAC tournament. The season starts Sept. 5 at Le Moyne, with the home opener coming Sept. 8 at the Stern Athletic Complex versus Felician.
Momentum can be a real thing in sports. This Lock Haven program will try to take the next step off that momentum with much of that team back in the fold.