Sept. 23, 2008
BOSTON, MA - The life of a collegiate soccer goaltender isn't the glorious job that many imagine it to be, but hey, someone's got to do it. Just ask Domenick Persuitte, starting keeper for the UMass Boston Men's Soccer team, and you'll see that through the first three weeks of the 2008 season he's doing just fine. After seven games for the Beacons, Persuitte has very quietly posted a 1.57 goals against average and .788 save percentage. He's made a total of 41 saves, keeping the score close in every match. It might not be a glorious job by any means, but so far he's making it look easy.
Persuitte, a West Barnstable, MA native, stepped right into the starting role and has been so busy in net that he hasn't had time to look back. A three-time varsity letterman and two-time captain for Barnstable High School's program in Hyannis, MA, the sophomore keeper has yet to miss a minute of action for UMB but none of his teammates seem to be complaining.
"Dom's been rock solid in net and is keeping us in every single game, you just have to love a guy like that," said senior forward and captain Romeo Zeqo. "He comes to play every single day, and he plays hard. That's all you can ask from your goalie."
On September 9, the Beacons posted their first victory of the season, a 4-0 win over Suffolk University, behind a tremendous effort in goal by Persuitte. He finished the afternoon with seven saves, many coming on very difficult shots inside the 18 yard box, to earn his first collegiate shutout.
"The feeling after that game was unreal," said Persuitte. "It was nice for everything to finally come together and the shutout was just a bonus. We played well on both ends of the field and my teammates picked me up in net, so it was a complete team effort. I'm hoping we have a few more of those this year."
Unfortunately for the Beacons, scoring goals has been an issue and there's not much the keeper can do in that category.
"I'm behind my teammates 100% and know that when we start to score, we will be dangerous. We have the skills, we have the talent, we have the drive, we just don't have many goals to show for it. I believe in my team just like they believe in me, we just have to continue to prepare for each game with the focus on executing and winning."
The Beacons 2-5-0 record is not a good indicator of the work Persuitte has done in net. He's been able to hold opponents to two or fewer goals in six of the seven matches and is averaging six saves per contest. His on field performance has led to some praise from head coach Myles Berry.
"Domenick has a phenomenal work ethic and stops shots extremely well. He's in a very tough position, being the only keeper on our roster, but has handled it well. Overall, he's just a great kid. Very well liked and respected by his teammates, always ready to go and do whatever we need him to do. As a coach, you really can't ask for more."
As UMass Boston heads into the second half of the season, one thing is clear, Persuitte isn't going anywhere which gives the Beacons a shot to be in all their remaining matches.
"Our goal from this point forward is to turn things around, and it starts with one big win," said Persuitte. "All we need is one game to get things rolling. An above .500 record is definitely not out of the question because with all of our talent it is something that we can accomplish. Bottom line, we want to win and we're hungry to make that happen which makes us dangerous every time we step onto the field."
With 10 regular season games remaining, there is still time for the UMB Beacons to turn things around and having a goalkeeper like Persuitte in net certainly doesn't hurt their chances.