Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Huskies Soccer Ready for 2017 Campaign

2017 Schedule | 2017 Roster | 2016 Statistics
BLOOMSBURG, Pa.- Paul Payne's squad comes into 2017 hungry and ready to take on a deep Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) slate. The Huskies were picked ninth in the league's preseason poll, which was released on Aug. 15.

The Huskies battled through an adverse 2016 campaign, which was riddled with injuries. BU finished the season 3-12-3 with a 2-6-3 mark in PSAC play. Payne does not buy in to where his team sits before stepping on the pitch.

"It's about what you do on any given day in any given match when the score is nil-nil," said Payne.

Payne's 2017 club is very experienced, with 15 members from last year returning. The roster makeup includes eight seniors, two juniors, seven sophomores and seven freshmen.

"They've been through the wars so they know what it takes to win," said Payne. "Hopefully they can share that with the younger guys coming in,".

Two of those returners are the main offensive weapons for the Huskies, in seniors Austin Transue (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy)and Anthony Cerda (Budd Lake, N.J./Mount Olive). Transue totaled 14 points on six goals and two assists in 2016, while Cerda added two goals and two assists for six points.

For his career, Transue is seventh on the all-time scoring list with 24 goals and also ninth on the list all-time with 56 career points. Cerda comes into his final campaign with 13 career goals and 31 career points.

"They're both quality players who are well-respected within the conference," said Payne.

Payne expects the rest of his offense to build off of what Transue and Cerda bring to the table, generating chances and ultimately finishing them.

"Our work rate will give us chances, and we want to be a team that gets after the ball," said Payne.

Defensively, the Huskies will be strong on the back line if they can stay healthy. Payne noted that injuries affected play on the defensive side of the ball in 2016.

"We just have to find a defensive unit that we can train and work with," said Payne.

Taylor Lesage (Collegeville, Pa./Methacton) has been given the nod as the No. 1 goalkeeper for 2017.

"He's an athletic talent," said Payne. "He's had opportunities to show that he can do it, and now it's on him. We expect that play in front of the goal, but now we also expect more of him as a leader," said Payne.

The Huskies open up their 2017 campaign hosting Georgian Court on Sept. 1, before traveling to Goldey-Beacom on Sept. 3. Beginning with the Goldey-Beacom match, Payne's squad embarks on a five-match road swing that stretches into the beginning of PSAC play. The non-conference contests before PSAC play also include Jefferson College on Sept. 6 and Daemen College on Sept. 10. The conference slate begins Sept. 13 at Lock Haven before making the trek to Gannon on Sept. 16. BU returns home for a Sept. 22 battle with Mercyhurst, before a road trip to West Chester on Sept. 24.

October begins with a home match against Shippensburg on the 4th, before a trip to Slippery Rock on the 7th. BU will host Caldwell University in non-conference action on Oct. 10, before traveling to Seton Hill on Oct. 13 to resume conference play. East Stroudsburg on Oct. 15 and Millersville on Oct. 18 will serve as a quick homestand, before two more road games at California (Pa.) on Oct. 21 and Molloy College on Oct. 25. The regular season wraps up with a home game against Pitt-Johnstown on Oct. 28, with the PSAC tournament set to begin on Oct. 31.

The opening match against Georgian Court is slated for a 7:00 p.m. start at Steph Petit Stadium.

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