October 29, 2014
e’s a captain of the WVU men’s soccer team. In 2013, he started in all 19 of the team’s games, leading the team and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in goals (9) and points (24.) He was a Capital One First Team Academic-All American, named to the All-MAC First Team, and spent a week as the MAC Player of the Week. In 2011, he was named Big East Rookie of the Year after a wildly successful first season as a Mountaineer.
But before August 2011, Bevin had never set foot in America.
“I took a risk, I took a leap,” said Bevin, a native of New Zealand. He came to West Virginia after spending two weeks in Columbia where he competed in the FIFA Under-20 Soccer World Cup. “I was offered a scholarship, which was my goal. I really had no idea what I was coming to.”
College in New Zealand is quite different than college in America.
“I didn’t realize what a college could mean to a person before I came to Morgantown,” he said. “In New Zealand, there aren’t college sports, alumni events or homecoming. But there’s a sense of pride and belonging that is part of being a Mountaineer. I feel like every time I step out on the field, I’m not doing it just for myself anymore. I’m doing it for present and future Mountaineers.”
His collegiate journey has been quite a ride. Between practices and games, soccer can take up 30 hours each week. Add class hours to that, and it’s easily like a full-time job. He’s made close friends. From San Francisco to Georgetown, he’s traveled all over the country to play. He’s honed his leadership skills.
Bevin’s competitiveness extends off the soccer field and into the classroom. His first semester, he studied feverishly for his exams.
“I got a 60 out of 60,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘Why did I study so hard for that?’ But then I thought, ‘If I’m studying really hard and exams are easy, if I do this for all my classes, then all the exams should be pretty easy.’”
Obviously not all exams are a walk in the park, no matter how much preparation is put into it. But for the most part, that line of thinking has served Bevin well.