Boys Soccer Opens Strong With Young Team

The Bison boys soccer team has momentum this season with a strong 5-1-1 record. 

One satisfying win was the 2-1 victory against rival Orange on Sept. 8.   

Last year Orange came to Beachwood and steamrolled the Bison 4-0; however, this year the Bison surprised, beating Orange in a 2-1 victory.

Prior to this year’s game, senior midfielder Mike Keselman reflected on last year’s loss.

“That’s not going to happen again, I did not play last year because I had to quarantine for a little bit, but I am excited for the game this year.”

Orange’s midfielder Drew Abrams torched the Bison last year with two of his team’s four goals. 

Prior to this year’s Orange game, Keselman acknowledged that Abrams was a threat.

“They lost a lot of their seniors, but they have Drew Abrams, who is really good, and they have a couple good players, but I think we can beat them this year.” 

We have a lot of pretty good freshmen coming up, and we have guys that were on JV last year that are now starting, taking over the roles of the seniors who left.”

— Senior Mike Keselman

Unfortunately for Orange, Abrams went down midway through the first half with a broken foot. 

Beachwood Sophomore midfielder Grant Keilin scored a goal early in the first quarter putting the Bison up 1-0.

Orange’s Sophomore forward Jack Derow came back to even out the score at 1-1 

The Bison fought back in the second half, bringing the score to 2-1 with a goal from senior forward Alonzo Tovanche, winning the game.

Shortly after this goal the Bison student section was escorted out of the stadium for degrading Lions’ players after a warning from the referees and Orange’s Athletic Director. 

The game prior to the Orange game, the Bison achieved an extremely big win over Cuyahoga Heights on Sept. 6 winning an impressive 9-1.

A more disappointing game was their highly-anticipated matchup against Chagrin Falls on Sept. 1.

Both teams lost key players from last year, making this game unpredictable and important as it was the first competitive conference game for both teams. 

Last season the Bison fell to the Tigers 3-0

 Keselman was hopeful going into this year’s game. 

“We got smacked [last year,] but it’s cool, they lost their best player,” Keselman said. “So I am hoping that we take care of business.” 

Keselman hoped the Bison could capitalize on the Tigers’ rebuilding this year. 

“I hope we take advantage of that because we have not beat them in a very very long time,” he said.

But the Bison team is also in a rebuilding year, having lost more than half of last year’s starters, making this a young and inexperienced team. In this year’s matchup, the Bison lost 1-0 to the Tigers.

“We need to work on our heading and scoring our opportunities,” Keilin wrote in an online message.

Still, Keselman is confident that these young players have what it takes.

“We have a lot of pretty good freshmen coming up, and we have guys that were on JV last year that are now starting, taking over the roles of the seniors who left,” he said.

One player who has stepped up from JV to varsity this year is Kyle Bennet.

“He played left back last year, but he is playing center back this year, which is a lot different,” Keselman said. “[The center back] basically controls the game, and if he starts panicking in the back, that kind of sets the whole pace of the game. But [Bennet] has been playing very calmly and really holding his own back there and playing well.”

The Bison are really relying on their younger players to step up this season and play big roles that are unusual for new players to play. 

So far, these young players have been stepping up and delivering.

“Every underclassman on the team has made an impact on the team’s success in a good way,” Keilin wrote.