Weishaar figures to produce plenty of goals for Western
Oct. 25, 2011
BELLINGHAM, Wash. -
by Andrew Lang, The Bellingham Herald
Gibson Bardsley and Peter LaBarge sit in Western Washington University men's soccer lore as WWU's most prolific goal scorers - tallying 41 goals each throughout their Viking careers.
But, give Western sophomore forward Andrew Weishaar two more years and Bardsley and LaBarge may have company.
As a freshman, Weishaar scored six goals, and before he suffered a season ending ankle injury against Dixie State University on Tuesday, Oct. 11, Weishaar had totaled three goals during his sophomore campaign.
"I thought I did well my freshman year, but I haven't scored as many goals as I've wanted to this year," Weishaar said in a phone interview. "I want to score more goals in the next few years, and I think we'll definitely have some pretty good teams."
Although Weishaar has a knack for scoring goals, Western coach Travis Connell doesn't see Weishaar as the same type of goal scorer as Bardsley, who scored 18 goals in 2010 to conclude his Western career.
"Andrew will score a lot of goals for us, but he is different than Gibson," Connell wrote in an email. "(Andrew) is more of a finisher, while Gibson was more of a creator."
While the route Weishaar and Bardsley took in order to score goals may vary, they have one glaring similarity - both love to score.
As a freshman, Weishaar played with Bardsley, but Weishaar said he didn't necessarily take too much away from Bardsley's game.
"We just have way different styles," Weishaar said. "I would like to score as many goals as him, though."
But Weishaar is not just a goal scorer.
The sophomore forward has an outstanding capability to control ball possession. It's a trait that Connell admires about Weishaar's game.
"Andrew is an important player to our team," Connell wrote. "He is excellent at playing with his back to the goal, (which) enables us to get more players into the attack, and he can score goals, (too). (Weishaar) can hold the ball up at midfield as well as anyone who has ever played for me at Western."
Weishaar's ability to get more of his teammates involved in matches correlates with his mantra of being a team player.
While Weishaar would love to be known as one of Western's top goal scorers when his career is over, he is more concerned with making a positive impact for the Vikings any way he can.
"I really want to help my team to do the best that we can," Weishaar said. "I don't really have any long term (personal) goals right now. I just want to help my team become better."
Although Weishaar won't be helping Western in its final four matches of the season, because of his ailing ankle, Weishaar has proved he can endure a physical style of soccer.
At 16, Weishaar played club soccer on a U-18 level and he has adopted a strong, physical style because of that experience.
"My U-18 team wasn't all that great, so they relied on me a lot," Weishaar said. "I played like every game and everyone was really big, so when I was younger I got a lot of experience (with physical play). Playing older definitely helped a lot."
Western has been searching for scoring production this year, as the Vikings are averaging 1.38 goals per game. It's a mark that places WWU fifth out of the six teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
It's also a number that Weishaar hopes to drastically increase in his final two seasons as a Viking.
"I feel like I have a lot of goal scoring experience, and I've played on a lot of good teams," Weishaar said. "I do like the spotlight when you score. It's one of the best feelings. It's really fun to have something to go for. I'd like to score in every game, or at least try."
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