As the final whistle blew at Nickerson field Wednesday night, the Boston University men’s soccer team concluded its 2012 home schedule with 1–0 win over Binghamton University on senior night at Nickerson Field.
The game was the last home game for the two seniors on the team, forward Michael Bustamante and defender Max White.
“It was important that we got a win for the two seniors,” said BU coach Neil Roberts after the game.
Prior to the game, the team recognized Bustamante and White, presenting each with a framed BU soccer jersey with their respective numbers. Additionally, both seniors played all 90 minutes.
“Max never starts at the beginning of the year, but by the end he is always starting,” Roberts said. “Max has always found a way to get on the field since his freshman year.”
As a sophomore in 2010, White made the America East All-Rookie Team while appearing in 11 games and registering five shot attempts on the year. Additionally, he was an integral part of a BU squad that allowed a season average of 0.86 goals per game and ranked 34th nationally.
The following year, he appeared in 13 games, starting six of them. White had a strong defensive year, most notably in an Oct. 4 game against then–No. 22 Providence University in which he helped BU shutout the Friars at Nickerson Field.
Bustamante, a fifth-year senior, also ends his BU career with an impressive resume both on the field as a player and off the field as a student.
“Michael has matured and become a first class adult,” Roberts said. “I’m so proud of Michael for the way he has developed every year since he has been here. He’s really become an important part of Chelsea, the community he is from. I couldn’t be happier for Michael as a player and as a person.”
As a freshman, Bustamante burst onto the America East scene and excelled quickly.
In 2008, Bustamante was named America East Midfielder of the Year as well as America East Rookie of the Year — he was only the fourth player in the league’s history to win both awards. Bustamante was also named to both the All-America East First Team and Freshman All-American Second Team. Statistically, Bustamante ended the season with nine assists, third in America East and 13 points, second on the team.
The next year, as a sophomore, Bustamante started all 13 games and led the team in assists, registering 10 on the year. Once again, he was named to the America East All-Conference Team.
As a junior, and for the third year in a row, Bustamante was named to the First Team All-America East squad after tallying two goals and four assists on the season.
However, Bustamante’s senior season was cut short before it began as he missed the entire year due to a preseason injury. After redshirting the season and working hard to rehab the injury, he was back in playing shape for the 2012 campaign.
As the 2012 campaign nears conclusion, Bustamante currently has registered three goals, four assists, and 48 shots. The season started slowly for the fifth-year senior, but at about the halfway point, he began looking like himself again.
Bustamante said this year has been special for him.
“I’ve been here five years,” said Bustamante. “Each team has had something different. I enjoyed playing with all of them, but these guys are a very knotted group. Everybody works hard for each other whether it’s on or off the field — those guys really like each other. We are like friends and family in there.
“Whether we are losing or winning we are able to look at each other and be honest with each other. I appreciate playing with guys like that.”
Bustamante also spends significant time helping out his home community in Chelsea.
“I grew up in Chelsea, I went to school in Chelsea, and now I’m working there too,” Bustamante said. “I go back at least three or four times a week. It’s great to go back and give some time to the guys over there.”
While in Chelsea, Bustamante not only spends a lot of time with his family, but also runs an after-school program where he mentors students, making sure they get help with their school work and are staying on track for graduation.
At the conclusion of the game, after doing the customary stretching, White and Bustamante made it a point to hug, thank and share laughs with close family and friends who attended their senior night game. Both seniors will play their final game as Terriers this Saturday when BU wraps up its 2012 season in Durham, N.H., against the University of New Hampshire.