A goal is a moment, many times a work of art. Sometimes beautifully choreographed, sometimes opportunistic—whatever the case, it is a memory.
It is anything but ‘just a point’.
A true finisher in soccer is rare. Some teams don’t even possess one true finisher on their entire roster, and they’re forced to slosh through a morass of 90 minutes hoping and praying for a lucky goal or a 0-0 tie.
So when a team returns one of the nation’s top scorers, it rejoices. BR-84 Bowling Green is smiling ear-to-ear because it knows it has exactly that in Pat Flynn (14 goals). No. 181 Robert Morris and BR-25 Akron are happy too, as they return Neco Brett (15 goals) and Adam Najem (14 goals) —both experienced finishers. This trio represents the top returning goal scorers in America, statistically.
“The coaches talk about it all the time, that you can’t let an opportunity slip by—that’s the mentality,” Flynn told HERO Sports. “You just don’t take any chance for granted because you never know how many you’re going to get. That’s the mindset of a goal scorer, to capitalize right away and take over the game.”
Being that deft finisher does take a bit of a cut-throat attitude, a “put ‘em away” sixth sense. Maybe even a bit of selfishness. Then again, if somebody doesn’t get selfish and want to put the ball in the back of the net, the entire roster suffers—so if one steps back and looks at it as a role on the team instead of a quest for glory, it doesn’t seem selfish.
But make no mistake, goal scorers do love the glory.
Flynn enjoys it. Of course he does. He is the consummate teammate and heaps the credit on his teammates, but he loves to score. He was born to do it, almost like a hound dog is born to pick up a scent.
Last year, Flynn transferred from DePaul to Bowling Green. He’d pumped two goals into the net as a freshman at DePaul, but he found an even bigger opportunity with the Falcons. They found out immediately how big a deal this guy could truly be when he scored in his first match, tied a 34-year old school record with 5 goals in his second match, and went on to score the game-winning goal in 5 of his team’s first 7 matches.
Who is this guy?
“It couldn’t have been a better story with how it started out, and it was a great feeling,” Flynn said. “Everything was going my way and the team’s way. We were winning games and it just seemed like it was always falling around the box area right to me. Somehow the ball was just finding my foot. It couldn’t have gone any better for me, and playing that way helped me be welcomed by my new team.”
While the first half of his season was the torrid half for Flynn, the second half opponents figured they might want to try a new strategy and they tightened up on Flynn—which of course opened the doors for Max Auden (6 goals), Joe Sullivan (5) and Jacob Roth (5). All three are back alongside Flynn, which could make Bowling Green one of the true offensive juggernauts in college soccer this fall.
Even with the tightening of defensive scheme around Flynn, he still made his presence known later in the season when he pumped in the game-winning goal in overtime against Detroit and contributed a goal and assisted on the game-winner in overtime in a MAC tournament semifinal win over West Virginia.
Last year, this team won 14 matches—they want more than that this year and they want to be playing beyond the MAC tournament, which means they need to capture the MAC.
Does Flynn need to lead the nation in scoring to get to that level?
“If I get 15 goals and I lead the nation in scoring and we win three matches, that’s a total failure,” Flynn said. “But if we have four guys step up with 8 goals apiece and we win the MAC championship? That’s what we’re shooting for.”