In the midst of what is his final season on the turf, Emerson goalie Carter Bowers is working on leaving a legacy for his team.
Bowers currently leads the eight-team New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference, or NEWMAC, in saves while also ranking number five in save percentage.
Bowers said he actually began his soccer career playing as a striker while trying to model his game after his hero, Ruud van Nistelrooy, formerly of Manchester United. While Bowers began to watch more soccer, a new player caught his attention and would change his position.
“Petr Čech of Chelsea really gave me the courage and inspiration to hop in goal,” Bowers said.
When the journalism major isn’t on the soccer field, he said he is either watching or playing the sport on the FIFA video game series. Bowers’ also enjoys his part-time position with the Emerson Channel, doing play-by-play commentary for athletic events.
The club underwent a big change before the season began when it hired a new head coach, Javier Mejia. For Bowers, he said it wasn’t much of an adjustment at all.
“I’ve known [Coach Mejia] since I was 18,” Bowers said. “He was one of the assistant coaches my freshman and sophomore year which makes it a pretty seamless transition because all the seniors know him.”
Mejia said he is beyond impressed with the goaltenders’ play and control this season.
“He’s had the advantage of being the starting goalkeeper since freshman year, so he knows the opponents and opposing players very well,” Mejia said “Having a senior in net is awesome—he keeps the team going.”
Bowers said he knows the role upperclassman are supposed to fill and he takes that very seriously.
“As a senior, I feel I have to leave it all out there,” Bowers said. “My responsibility is upped and I have to keep my head up and continue pushing forward.
Backup freshman goalkeeper and performing arts major, Malachi McDonald, said he admires Bowers’ leadership.
“Playing behind Bowers is like learning from your older brother,” McDonald said. “He really takes you under his wing and gives you advice about the game that you have never realized.”
Bowers put his tools to the test in Charles River Cup against Lesley. The Lions were able to fend off their cross-town rivals—2-1. Bowers saved seven of eight shots he faced.
Senior captain Mitch Lapierre said he was impressed with the goalkeeper’s ability to put his teammates in the right spot and limiting havoc.
“He organized the defense in front of him so that he only had to face a few shots,” Lapierre said. “He is a fierce competitor and he has no lack of passion on the field.”
Whether in a highly touted match-up or a low-key practice, there is always something to pick up from Bowers’ game, according to McDonald.
“He has helped me with my game by telling me what I am doing wrong in between drills,” McDonald said. “Then he will show me the correct techniques whenever I need it.”
Mejia said he hopes a little piece of the seniors’ game gets passed down.
“As soon as we get into conference play, Carter is great with recognition of opponents,” the coach said. “I would love for next year’s goalie to carry over Carter’s great match ability.”
The Lions’ next game is Oct. 3 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.