FAIRBORN — In soccer, the assist might be the statistic that best demonstrates selflessness. This has been one of a multitude of signature qualities in Wright State forward Eric Lynch’s game.
Soccer runs deep in Lynch’s family, including his older brother Chris who played for Walsh University and Mark who played for Bellbrook High School. His cousin, Julie Johnston, is a defender on the U.S. women’s national team.
“I got to watch my older brother play soccer growing up, and it made me want to play and be better than him,” Lynch said with a laugh. “That was a good competition thing. For me to follow in his shoes was great.”
Distance alone has made Wright State like a second home for Lynch, who played for Bellbrook. He says having family and players he knew in high school attending his games gives him motivation to step up his game.
According to Lynch, WSU was appealing during the recruiting process because it was one of the few schools that would allow him to get significant playing time as a freshman.
Almost immediately, Lynch thrived playing for the Raiders by leading the team in assists during his first two seasons. Lynch’s breakout season was in 2014 when he led the NCAA in assists (13) and earned Horizon League player of the year honors. Davis describes Lynch’s service ability as being lethal.
“Eric has great vision and delivers some very dangerous passes. He also can be lethal in service on restarts when he doesn’t over-think it,” Davis said.
“The last big step for Eric to get to the next level is less thinking about service and more of a natural delivery. He has improved immensely on it and you can see it when he serves balls in. They are driven hard, beat the first defender and land in dangerous places.”
When explaining Lynch’s character, Davis added that he is a true day-in and day-out professional with ample internal motivation, high standards and a strong work ethic to master his craft.
Lynch also poses a danger to defenses as a goal scorer. So far this season, he is second on the team with three goals. In the Raiders’ recent game against Eastern Illinois, he connected on a game-winner from the edge of the box in the 74th minute.
Over the summer, Lynch was a member of the Dayton Dutch Lions in the Premiere Development League. He demonstrated his prowess to score goals and get assists by leading the team in both categories.
“I played with people from Dayton, Cedarville and some farther away from Washington,” Lynch said. “It was nice to get a mix of new players, and we played some of the best teams in the league.”
Lynch attributes Davis’ attention to detail and push that can include advice in the film room or an extra run in practice to his development as a player.
“My freshman year I made All-Freshman team, and he (Davis) believed, after that, I could be a really good player,” Lynch said.
“He told me, if I train hard and keep getting better, that I could be player of the year. And the next year, I just happened to do it. He has pushed me to get better and not settle with where I’m at.”
Off the field, Lynch cherishes the strong bond he has had with his teammates, many of whom have also played locally at schools like Centerville and Beavercreek.
“It is great to be able to travel with these guys on the bus and get to know them,” Lynch said “The soccer is great, and having the relationships on and off the field is what is really important. I love winning with those guys.”
When Lynch’s final season concludes, he hopes to play professionally in the U.S. As for a profession outside of soccer, his interest lies in attending graduate school to be a physical therapist.
The final assist that Lynch can provide for the Raiders appears to be a Horizon League title and NCAA tournament berth, which has eluded him during his four-year career at WSU.
“That is what my goal has been since I came here. It would be a great way to end my senior year going into that tournament,” Lynch said. “If we can all come together, work hard, take it one game at a time and not look past any opponent we can win.”
Story courtesy of Alan Hieber and Wright State University Athletics.