Men’s Soccer On Fire: A Bounce Back Story


Olivia Hokanson

BREAKAWAY BOSS: Junior Adam Fam dribbles upfield from the defender in a match against Lafayette on October 15.

For the Men’s Soccer team, the 2022 season presents a stark contrast to last year’s challenges. With COVID-19 protocols, numerous injuries and an inexperienced team, the Raiders struggled to generate momentum throughout the season. However, if there’s one thing this squad now understands about setbacks, it’s that they lead to even greater comebacks.

As this year’s season began, the team faced many unanswered questions. After scoring four goals in all of last season, how would they generate enough offense to win games? How would they bounce back from an 0-18 record? Well, junior striker Aidan Davock has been part of the answer. Davock, who was sidelined for the majority of the 2021 season with an ankle injury, now leads the team with five goals this season. 

“Honestly, watching the squad struggle like that was excruciating,” Davock said about the 2021 season. “All I wanted to do was go out there and work hard for the team, but obviously, that was not an option.” 

Davock’s patience during recovery has clearly paid off. Although he has scored plenty of goals, Davock noted his desire to refine his overall game outside of finishing.

“I feel that I can do a better job holding up play and getting my midfield involved,” he said. “This will unlock a new level to our offense.” 

Junior midfielder and one of the team captains Adam Fam also shared his thoughts on the bounce-back campaign.

“[Last year] was really tough, our team morale was at an all-time low, I had never been a part of something like that. One silver lining to last year’s disaster is that it taught our young group how to deal with adversity,” Fam said. “It quite literally can’t get worse from there, so if we can handle that, then we can handle pretty much anything.”

As Fam explained, the trials and tribulations of last year’s season have clearly been a learning experience on how to deal with adversity; and more importantly, being brave. In their first game of the season, the Raiders picked up a massive 3-2 road win at nationally ranked Providence College. 

“Getting that first win, especially against a high-caliber side, did wonders for our confidence,” Fam said. “We knew that at the very least, this season could not be worse than last year. Knowing that, we injected confidence back into the fans was also huge for us. We didn’t have to walk around campus feeling that nobody believed in us anymore.” 

Fam also discussed what it meant to be named one of the captains for this year.

“Knowing that I have the confidence from both my coaches and teammates to be a leader on and off the field is massive for me,” he said. “I know I have my squad’s back, and I know they have mine.”

The coaching staff also saw change this offseason, with former Cornell assistant coach Scott Bratt joining the Raiders. Fam has high regard for Bratt. 

“He has definitely changed the culture in the locker room. He reinstilled the values of discipline and teamwork that we seemingly lost last year. With Bratt, we feel like we have a complete squad from players to staff,” Fam said. “We have belief in ourselves and in each other, and that is so important to the function of the team.” 

As of publication, the Raiders are 6-3-4 (wins, losses, ties) and they’re looking to pick up some more points with four conference games left in the regular season. Men’s Soccer takes on Bucknell, who’s 2-11-0, tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. in Lewisburg, Penn.