Men's Soccer: Offensive woes hinder Wildcats

Bret Belden

By Sam Donnelly, Staff Writer

The UNH men’s soccer team prepares for their second conference game in one week. This time, the Wildcats head to Binghamton, New York, to face a 3-8-0 team who just came off an America East win against Hofstra. The Wildcats, on the other hand, started off with a loss in conference play to Stony Brook 1-0.

The focus of the week has been on the offensive side of the ball. The Wildcats only generated two shots on goal and only 10 shots in total. Assistant coach Logan Hoffman made it clear that number has to increase for the Wildcats to be successful.

“It’s been all week,” Hoffman said. “We’ve worked on finishing everyday, worked on some runs down field we want to see.”

Hoffman insists that the strategy as a whole doesn’t change, but the effort has to change to generate the right opportunities.

“It’s not really a strategy change as much as making our players better players,” Hoffman said. “I didn’t think our effort was as good as it could have been in the Stony Brook game. I told the guys it simply wasn’t good enough last year.”

The effort wasn’t the only concern from the Stony Brook game, Hoffman made it clear that the Wildcats were maybe a little over confident going into the game, and it cost them.

Defensively, the Wildcats continue to focus on defending as a team, but Hoffman had the Wildcats focused on a certain section of the field; the scoring area.

“We have to defend better in the box,” Hoffman said. “This isn’t something that we can change overnight. It is a constant effort to get better.”

Binghamton, a team the Wildcats have faced countless times before, is coming off a much-needed win against a solid Hofstra team at home. Until that point The Bearcats were struggling with a record of 2-8-0, but to start off conference play with a victory makes them a dangerous team in Hoffman’s mind.

“Binghamton is always a dogfight,” Hoffman said. “They always have a rowdy crowd. It will always be a physical game when you play them, too. You have to out-compete a team that is very competitive.”

Although the Wildcats only stand at 4-5-1, Hoffman insists that they are confident in their abilities and them as a team.

“I think they’re confident,” Hoffman said. “We only win if we put in the effort to do the little things. We have worked hard this week.”

As the Wildcats continue on into the season, the physical grind will increase. Between Oct. 11 and Oct. 18 the Wildcats will have three games, all in-conference match-ups. Hoffman has insisted that the Wildcats need to improve in their overall discipline. As he has said before, it’s getting better.

“It’s a work in progress. We are getting better.”

The Wildcats will travel tomorrow to play their game at 1 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex in Binghamton, New York.