After injuries to redshirt junior defenseman Patrick Nielsen and senior midfielder Giuseppe Barone, both on the watch list for the MAC Hermann Trophy and captains of the team, senior midfielder Michael Pimlott is the lone captain on the field for the Spartans. Pimlott led the green and white against No. 20 Notre Dame Tuesday night at DeMartin Stadium, a game in which the team had quality scoring chances, but ultimately ceased in a 1-0 loss.
Nielsen has yet to play this season and Barone has only played forty five minutes, so it has been up to Pimlott to lead the team on and off the field. He’s carrying a heavy workload to start the season, averaging 96.2 minutes per game, a mainstay in a relatively young Spartan lineup.
“I do the best I can, but we also have more leaders out there, so it’s not just on me,” Pimlott said. “Shterenberg, Morse, they’re all there to help me.”
Redshirt sophomore midfielder Alex Shterenberg and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Hunter Morse have stepped up into leadership roles this year, and having young guys take charge bodes well for a team that is one year removed from making the College Cup semifinals. There are more than a few underclassmen that have critical roles on this year’s team and having those players develop into leaders will help to put the team back on track after a slow start.
“Shterenberg is very vocal on the field. He always puts his heart out there,” Pimlott said. “Morse is always a leader from the back, and those two are the main two that have stepped up so far, but everybody is a leader out there and everybody does their best.”
Even though the team is winless through seven games, Pimlott voiced the importance of building off of each game and staying focused on the next one. Head Coach Damon Rensing praised Pimlott’s durability and stressed his importance to this year’s team, a guy with valuable experience and respect amongst his teammates.
“I thought tonight Pimlott was very good,” Rensing said following the Notre Dame game. “He’s not the most vocal leader, but I think (with) his actions he leads by example. He was up for the game and I don’t know if he’s come off (the field) the whole season. He’s been a glue guy for us, our heart at the center mid, and he had a good night tonight.”
Pimlott and the Spartans now shift their focus to Rutgers, where they will travel on Sep. 27 to open up Big Ten play. Game time is set for 7 p.m.