Junior Evan Bogucki and freshman Brian Terra have been competing all season for the starting goaltender role on the Oswego State men’s soccer team. After splitting starts early in the season, Terra was named the starter for conference play.
Terra’s rise to starting for conference play was not something the coaching staff or even Terra himself saw coming in the beginning of the season.
“No expectations coming into the season [to name Terra the starting goaltender],” head coach Dan Kane said.
Even Terra was surprised about Kane’s decision because he was not expecting to start this season.
“No, definitely not. All the goalies, we all support each other,” Terra said. “I have their back, they have my back, but we knew coming in it was going to be a fight for it.”
Bogucki started the first game of the season against Houghton, which the Lakers won 5-0. After that, the Lakers had been alternating who was in net so Kane could make a decision on who he wanted in net for conference play. Bogucki received a red card 15 minutes into the game against St. Lawrence University on Sept. 15, and Terra has been in goal ever since. Although Kane saw a mistake on the field from Bogucki, the red card was not a factor in naming Terra the starting goaltender for conference play.
“Maybe Evan made a little mistake there, but that wasn’t the primary reason for naming Brian the number one,” Kane said. “Brian would’ve had the next game regardless.”
The competition was really close to see who would become the number one goalie. Kane knew the margins were small between the two players, and that he had a difficult choice in front of him. After watching the two goalies alternate starts early in the year, he believed Terra edged out Bogucki in a few different aspects.
“Brian’s just got a little bit better distribution and is a little bit better with his feet,” Kane said. “The margins are really small. It’s just like every other position We’re evaluating and re-evaluating where the guys are and who will be the starter next.”
Terra has started the last five games for the Lakers, going 2-3 through that stretch. Although he has been named the number one right now, he is not the permanent starter for the rest of the season, as Kane is still considering who to start at the position.
“We’ll continue to evaluate [the goalie position], and these guys are kind of just like field players. They play really well one week, then you drop your play a little bit,” Kane said. “We know that if Brian does that, we got a really good goalie in Evan that we can call upon.”
Even though Bogucki is not starting at the moment, he is still a key player on the team, helping Terra train and being a good teammate. “Bogucki] has been awesome,” Terra said. “He’s one of the best teammates I’ve had. Even though we are fighting for the spot, he has my back, and I know it. He’s always positive out there and supportive.”
It is more of a friendly competition between Oswego State’s top goalkeepers. Bogucki and Terra train with each other. The goal is to do what is best for the team rather than worry about who is going to be in there individually. Kane has loved how Bogucki has taken to his current role as the backup right now.
“[Bogucki has] been fantastic,” Kane said. “I mean, he’s a terrific teammate. Being a goalie is really hard, and those are guys you don’t really sub, so you can be an outstanding second goalie and not play all season. That can be hard, but Evan has handled it like a professional. He’s supportive of Brian and he obviously wants his shot, but he doesn’t want to see anything bad happen to Brian.”
Kane’s plans for the goalie position for the rest of the season is to start whoever is playing the best. Since the margins are so close between the two, he has no problem giving one guy rest for a game and putting the other in.
“If we make a change with our goalies it’s because the margins are so small and it might just be better to rest one guy or give him a mental break.” Kane said.
Photo: Jake Piacenti | The Oswegonian