The last line of defense

By: Marshall Haim

Sports Reporter

Andrew Coughlin has been a member of the Canisius Men’s Soccer team for only two years, but he has been an excellent goaltender for Head Coach Dermot McGrane. Last season, Coughlin set multiple records for the Griffs, including season’s best goals against average, and shutouts.

The 22-year-old senior from Baldwinsville, New York, was a transfer from Syracuse University after his sophomore year with the Orange. While at Syracuse, he was named to the Big East Conference All-Academic Team for the 2012-2013 season. He only played in three games (one start) while at Syracuse, accruing seven saves and allowing no goals.

In his first season with the Griffs, Coughlin started all of his 18 fixtures, earning a record of 9-6-3.  Eight of his nine wins last season were shutouts, which set a Canisius season record. He doubled the previous amount which was matched eight times, with the last time occurring in the 2013 season by Ryan Arvin. Coughlin was also named the 2014 WNY Goalkeeper of the Year and was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week on October 13.

“It wasn’t just me, it was the guys around that really helped out,” Coughlin said about his success with the Griffs. “It was great to come in and be a part of something great for Canisius soccer.”

So far in his final collegiate season, he has started all of the Griffs’ seven games, amassing a record of 3-3-1. Coughlin is now two shutouts shy of breaking the career shutouts record at Canisius. He has also faced 41 shots this season, saving 32.

“His work ethic and training is unparalleled,” Coach McGrane said about his starting goaltender. “It rubs off on the people around him, so they’ve had the right behaviors modeled now for the last two years.”

In only two seasons at the college, Coughlin could potentially hold the college records in shutouts, wins, goals against average, and save percentage. It’s quite remarkable for a player to come into a program in his junior year and set the bar as high as he has in the previous two seasons.

“It’s good. You try not to think about it too much,” he said about the records looming. “It’s the wins that we’re most concerned about right now, but every time I achieve one, it’s a great feeling to know you did something great, but like I said, it’s not just me, it’s a team sport, it goes to a lot of guys up front.”  

To add onto Coughlin’s honors he has already received, on Tuesday, the men’s soccer team announced their 50th anniversary team, to commemorate the amount of seasons the team has had so far. Coughlin was named the 1st team goaltender and was the only current member of the men’s soccer team to be named to either 1st or 2nd teams.

“I’m very humbled by it,” Coughlin said about the honor’s he has received. “It’s unreal to be in some of the company that I’m in with the All-Canisius team and being Western New York goaltender of the year. There was a lot of good players last year, and it’s been great that I’ve been able to achieve that.”

The Griffs currently have three backup goaltenders on their roster. Marco Trivellato and John Hollinger, both juniors, along with sophomore Bryce Tramuta, will battle for the starting spot for goalkeeper next year’s squad. With all the accolades Coughlin has been able to accomplish, the new starting goaltender will be striving for the same success as their mentor.

“We all kind of learn from each other,” Coughlin said about mentoring the other goalkeepers. “It’s not just a one man show out here. Everyone competes in training and when you have a lot of good guys behind you, it really makes you push farther and to be the best.”

Coughlin and the Griffs soccer team will host their first MAAC conference game of the season tomorrow night, when the champion from last season, Monmouth, will challenge the Griffs at the Demske Sports Complex at 7:00 p.m.. Last season, the Griffs lost to the Hawks at Monmouth, 1-0.

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