Springfield men’s soccer freshman goalkeeper Brett Bascom has not allowed a goal in his first five collegiate games. He has been a vital part to the team’s 4-0-3 start to the season.
Bascom has made the most of his opportunity to play, taking the starting goalie position from two-year starter Chris Walton.
Bascom has earned the playing time, his performance speaks for itself. How he earned the spot in goal is questionable to some.
At the beginning of this season, an assistant coach added a team rule that each player must eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Cheney Dining Hall with at least one teammate. If a player was going by himself he had to call a teammate to go with him. If no teammate was available to go, that player had to eat by himself. Failure to do so would have consequences.
Head coach Peter Haley declined to comment on the team rule.
Walton was caught eating with friends who were not members of the soccer team. Walton was suspended for one game.
“I had no idea it would have been that severe,” said junior captain David Chessen. “When coach says something you have to take it to heart. We were really shocked it happened.”
Bascom made his first start on Sept. 8. He recorded four saves in a 0-0 tie with Keene State. Two days later, Walton returned as the starting goalie, allowing three goals in Springfield’s 6-3 win over Elms College.
Since then the net has belonged to Bascom.
The team rule is still in effect, yet players have come to accept it.
“At first we weren’t too fond of it. But it hasn’t been too bad. We all sit together to begin with it. It’s hard sometimes to not be with your friends outside of soccer. But I mean the season isn’t that long, it goes by quickly,” said Chessen.
Even though Walton has lost his starting spot, he is still a contributor to the team.
“It’s definitely been tough,” said Walton. “I understand why it happened and I’m working hard making sure Brett is always prepared. I’ll definitely be the first person that helps him get ready.”
In Tuesday night’s tie against Endicott, head coach Peter Haley mentioned Walton was the first one off the bench to congratulate players coming out.
“I know it’s hard on Chris,” said Haley. “I think he’s done exceptionally well. When you see that kind of stuff, it says a lot about the individual.”
Terrence Payne may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org