Bearcats Brave Breezy Weather Against Bethany Bison

By Jacob Rzempoluch, Sports Editor

Oct. 8 saw back-to-back soccer action for the Bearcats, with both the women’s and men’s teams playing Bethany at the UPMC Field on campus. Results were mixed, with the women’s team losing a close match 1-0 to the Bison and the men fighting for a draw against the defending Presidents’ Athletic Conference champions.

“We didn’t come out as strong as we know we could have,” captain Tanisha Grewal, a junior biology major, said. Despite the loss, the Bearcats stayed tough throughout the match. Sophomore goalie Madison Arnold had a notably strong performance, recording 6 saves while the Bearcats took 6 shots. The former PAC Defensive Player of the Week has completed 4 shutouts this season and allowed an average of only 0.874 goals per game as one of the top goalies in the conference.

A few days after the match, Grewal stated, “We’re a very resilient team, we know we’re going through a lot of changes, so we’re bouncing back… I think that sometimes a loss can help you with the next game.” SVC would reverse their luck a few days later in a 4-0 victory against Thiel, with each goal being scored by a different member of the team.

On the men’s side, captain David Rahaman answered an early Bison goal with a goal in the 57th minute. “I think we could have started out a little stronger, on the front foot. We kind of started out on our heels… it was a battle to the end,” Rahaman said. The junior English major and secondary education minor would be honored as PAC Offensive Player of the Week for his play in this game and an earlier 2-2 draw against Carlow. Rahaman also scored in that match; both of his goals were assisted by junior Jose Hurtado.

PAC Offensive Player of the Week David Rahaman has scored six goals this season, which is the third most in the PAC.

When asked to explain what the Bearcats would need to do to succeed in the PAC playoffs, Rahaman said, “It’s really a mental thing, finishing those games out that are 2-1, finishing the games out that are 3-2, just seeing them out.” He then offered some insight into the team mentality for the season.

“One of our team mottos is ‘All in or in the way’. So ‘all in’ means you’re going to team lifts, you’re bonding with each other, you’re hanging out, you’re going to meals… just cause you want to do it.” Rahaman believes this builds a strong team from top to bottom, encouraging every athlete to buy in to the program’s goals.

The men’s and women’s PAC soccer championships will begin with a quarterfinal round on Oct. 29. Based on conference standings at time of publication, the men’s team is one spot outside of qualifying for the six-team championship tournament, while the women’s team is positioned to take the sixth qualifying spot. Both teams are confident in their ability to perform at the end of the season and hope to shake things up in the conference.

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