Bevin using time in New Zealand to help in 2012
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 00:08
Sophomore forward Andy Bevin is accustomed to scoring goals.
A New Zealand native, Bevin emerged as one of the top freshmen in the nation a season ago when he showed West Virginia fans and the rest of the Big East Conference that he had a knack for finding the back of the net.
His team-leading seven goals helped him earn Big East Rookie of the Year honors as well as a spot on third team all-Big East.
"Andy’s a goal scorer," said head coach Marlon LeBlanc. "He knows how to do it. We have more pieces around him to make him a better player, and we have more pieces around him that he will make other people better players."
Bevin is always a threat to score.
In five different matches, the sophomore had four or more shots. He was able to score two goals apiece in victories over Richmond and Binghamton last season.
While also scoring against Maryland, Cincinnati and Seton Hall, Bevin registered assists in games against South Florida and Richmond as well. He’s a complete player.
Bevin spent the summer playing with APIA Leichhardt in the NSW Premier League in Australia. In his time playing for them, Bevin scored seven of the team’s 19 goals, leading the team.
"The competition is strong over there," Bevin said. "I’ve learned a lot, so I think I’ll come back a better player this time."
Bevin has come a long way since his childhood. He has just turned 20, but he’s been competing at a national level for quite some time.
"I’m pushing myself against the top young boys in New Zealand and across the world," Bevin said.
The most important thing the sophomore forward learned from his time back home over the summer is how important it is to show professionalism and go to the pitch every day ready to go to work.
"Day in and day out, you can’t slack off," he said. "You have to go 100 percent in training, or you’re not going to see game time."
The New Zealand team Bevin was aiming to earn a spot played to one draw and two losses in the Olympics.
He hopes to be able to be a part of the national team in the future.
However, at one point, it seemed as if Bevin’s future at WVU would remain in question this summer, as he had to decide if he wanted to play and study at West Virginia or play full-time with the New Zealand national squad.
As the Mountaineers enter the Mid-American Conference, Bevin understands that winning the out-of-conference games will be just as important as doing well against an in-conference powerhouse such as Akron.
"It doesn’t have the prestige that the Big East had, but hopefully we can improve in those out-of-conference games and have a good record," he said. "The best thing about this year is more competition for places."
Last year Bevin’s comfort zone was not as high, as a freshman coming to an unfamiliar territory, so to speak.
"It’s a lot more comfortable coming to a place you’re familiar with," Bevin said. "It’s not a world of unknowns as it was last year."
With a year of experience under his belt at WVU, Bevin will be more of a vocal leader to the younger guys on the team. With about 12 freshmen on the squad, the sophomore should be able to be a key leader on and off the field.