Just days before Marquette was set to play in the NCAA Men’s Soccer Tournament last May, redshirt sophomore defender Harvey Read suffered an injury to his foot forcing him to miss out on the postseason.
Now four months later, Read is back at full strength and off to a roaring start in the Golden Eagles’ young season.
“It’s been nice to get a clean sheet and get myself a couple goals,” Read said. “The morale for everyone in the preseason was high and we’ve carried that momentum into our first few games.”
Read said his injury required surgery in addition to having a titanium plate being put into his foot. In all, he was out for around 12 weeks.
“It was a tough one. I had never had a long-term injury like that before,” Read said. “I did a little bit of training in England this summer but it wasn’t until week one of preseason where I could get back into playing soccer.”
Now that he’s back on the pitch, he has already taken a bigger role in this year’s Marquette defense. It is a unit that the Golden Eagles’ lost two of their four starters from a season ago in Manuel Cukaj and Oliver Posarelli.
“Harvey filling in the role of those we lost is super big for us this season,” redshirt sophomore defender Alex Mirsberger said. “He orchestrates the back line and is a brick wall back there.”
Head coach Louis Bennett said he knew Read would need to take a bigger role on the team heading into this year. As for expectations, those were high from Bennett he said.
“The expectations were that he’d be able to help develop the cohesion and tenaciousness within the back line,” Bennett said. “He’s got a great skill set and understands the game very well.”
In terms of coaching up the younger guys on the team, Read knew that’d be a big part of this season despite being just a redshirt sophomore with three years of eligibility.
“We had no choice but to step up. We have to show the young guys our standards and how we play,” Read said. “I like it when people lead through their actions so others around you can see what they should be doing.”
Read hails from Southampton, England, but originally went to the University of Rhode Island before transferring to Marquette after the 2019 season. With the Rams, Read saw action in 16 games and helped them to an NCAA Tournament appearance, losing in the first round to Syracuse.
Bennett mentioned as soon as Read entered the transfer portal, he knew he had a skill set Marquette likes to have for their style of defending.
“He wanted to come here and he liked our style of play,” Bennett said. “It was also easier for him to adjust having already been somewhere in the U.S. before coming to Milwaukee.”
In his first season with the Golden Eagles last season, Read started in all eight games he appeared in while recording one shot on goal.
With the two goals scored already this season, Read is already on his way to achieving a preseason goal he set for himself this season: score four or five goals as a defender.
“Last season we were really good defensively and I just want to find ways to help the team however I can,” Read said. “Nice to be able to score but lot of work still to do.”
Bennett commended Read for his vision before the season and for sticking to it from the start of the season.
“We talk a lot about our guys having a vision of success and what they intend on doing,” Bennett said. “Both goals he’s had to commit to what he was doing and be brave. Neither were easy headers.”
While Read has succeed on the field, Mirsberger said his vocal leadership has stepped up as well this year.
“He’s always talking to people, being constructive and that’s something we need on this team,” Mirsberger said.
Though Bennett echoed those sentiments from Mirsberger, he said he would still like to see more out of Read who he says could be one of the more influential players on his team.
“When teammates look at Harvey they think about a solid, reliable leader who’s also one of our best players,” Bennett said. “My hope is that next year, he could potentially put a captain’s band on and that’s an exciting prospect for a guy with so much eligibility left.”
This article was written by Matt Yeazel. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MJYeazel.