Haberman piling up points for Rolling Royals
There are many things Vincentian soccer standout Mike Haberman does well. He rang up a hat trick against Riverview in a section win a couple of weeks ago, and he is willing and able to do anything the coaches ask of him.
“I like to play up top — that is my favorite position,” Haberman said. “Scoring is fun, but I like to win … if I don't score a goal, or just get an assist and we win, I will do that.”
A 1-0 loss to section rival Springdale bothered the Royals until the teams met again last week. The Royals got revenge on the Dynamos, and Haberman showed his versatility in the win.
“We got the lead, then I was moved to sweeper the rest of the game,” Haberman said. “We are really solid in the back. We have two great goalies, Alex Catozella and Mike Falgione.
“This may be the most solid team we have had. We are also good at midfield and up front with me and Alec Costa.”
Haberman said it is the off-the-field friendship that helps this team stay so tight on the field.
“We are close (enough) that if someone tells someone to do something everyone is OK with it,” Haberman said. “We all want to win and all do what we have to in order to do that.”
Coach Mitch Reihle has made winning and love of the game a constant at Vincentian. He cares about the players a great deal, according to Haberman, and it is Riehle who made this more of a brotherhood than a team.
“(He says) if we stick together, we can do anything,” Haberman said. “I love the guys on the team, and we have a lot of fun times on the bus rides. We maintain an optimistic attitude — even during the loss to Springdale, we kept it upbeat, and that makes this a great thing to be a part of.”
Haberman has banged home his share of goals, both flashy and simple. His philosophy is that no matter how the ball hits the back of the net, it counts as a point, and he wants as many as he can get.
“Mike is offensivley talented and sees the field very well,” Riehle said. “He is also extremely competitive and has good physical size so it is hard for a defense to guard him.”
Riehle said that in addition to the skill and physical prowess, Haberman is a leader by not only example (as he does in practice and games), but by the results he gets from being so focused in his work.
“I have 19 goals for my career, and the school record is 34,” Haberman said. “I would like to get the record, but we just have to play our game, and I will need my teammates to get there.”
Individuals goals are great, but Haberman wants to get into the playoffs and advance.
Riehle said that the stats are the results of the afore mentioned work ethic, but he added that Haberman is looking to make the best decision with the ball, not simply to just score a ton of goals.
“We missed a few games early on, so we have a few to make up,” Haberman said.
In addition to Riehle, Haberman said he has to credit his dad, Mike Haberman, with helping him and the rest of the team with formations and many other aspects of the game.
“Mike decided to take a year off from soccer,” Riehle said. “He has come back with increased focus and vigor. He is a huge asset to the team and should have a successful end of season and college career.”
Haberman is focused on the season at hand but said that playing Division I soccer is a goal of his.
“I would like to play at St. Bonaventure, Duquesne or Pitt,” he said. “I will miss the time with my teammates now and the practices, but (I am looking forward to) getting a good education and studying finance or engineering.”
Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.