Riverview grad Sean Abraham determined to lead Behrend men’s soccer to the top of AMCC

In Sean Abraham’s first two seasons with the Penn State Behrend men’s soccer team, the Lions won the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference title. Last season, that run was interrupted by Mt. Aloysius, which knocked PSB out of the AMCC Tournament in the semifinals.

The Lions were picked to win the AMCC in the 2022 preseason poll, and Abraham, a Riverview Graduate and now a senior, would like nothing more than to finish his career the way it started.

“That’s definitely what I expected,” Abraham said about the preseason ranking, “especially after last year. We had a strong team then, and knowing what we were coming into this year, especially with the group of freshmen we have coming in, I think we had high hopes.”

In 2021, Behrend went 7-1 in the conference during the regular season, finishing second to Medaille. Then, in the AMCC semifinals, PSB lost in overtime to Mt. Aloysius, a team it had beaten 2-0 in the regular season.

That result didn’t sit well with Abraham, especially being one of the captains. Abraham is a Captain again this season, and he said he was determined not to repeat last season’s disappointment.

He spent a lot of his offseason training with the Riverhounds Academy, something he has been doing since his youth days. He also kept tabs on his teammates, making sure they were working, staying in shape and taking care of their bodies.

“It’s definitely something that I’m happy doing,” he said. “Just having that responsibility on my shoulders is definitely something I take pride in.”

Something the Lions have taken pride in recently is their defense. That commitment showed in the first two matches of the season as PSB held both of its opponents scoreless.

The problem was, the Lions were also scoreless.

Being more aggressive offensively is something Abraham said he and the team as a whole have tried to emphasize this season. For his part, Abraham said he might try to be “a little bit more greedy” when it comes to putting balls on the net. But that type of greed, which, Abraham said isn’t a bad thing, is something he wants to see more of from his teammates, too.

“This season, our first two games were 0-0, but our shot count total, we’ve had 30-plus shots,” Abraham said. “So it’s a matter of scoring.

“I know as a team we’ve always focused on staying compact defensively and making sure we don’t concede anything. So far, we’ve done a great job with that. I think the one focus this season is putting the ball in the back of the net a little bit more.”

In his three previous seasons, Abraham never attempted more than 20 shots on goal. He has a half dozen through just the first three games this season, and he added an assist in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Waynesburg.

It seems to be only a matter of time before the goals start going in for Abraham and the rest of the Lions. Perhaps most significantly, Abraham said he now has the confidence to keep shooting. That’s something that has evolved since his freshman season, when he was mostly a second-half substitute.

Armed with that confidence and a resolve to go out with a bang, Abraham is optimistic that the Lions (1-0-2) can claim the conference title.

“I think right now we’re already becoming a cohesive unit,” he said. “We want to win, and our fitness level is really high. We’re not usually a high-press team, but right now, we’re all over the field.

“(Winning the AMCC) would be huge. I know my freshman year my team made it all the way to the Sweet 16, and I guess that was kind of the goal I told my Coach (Dan Perritano) I set for myself: to see if we could either make it all the way to there or go past that this year.”

Chuck Curti is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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