In every sport, a team needs chemistry.
Whether it be Tiger woods chatting with his caddie on the 17th fairway over a chip shot from fifty yards out to Tom Brady leading his offense against a 4-3 defense, if the team doesn’t have chemistry, a sort of special bond, then the entire program would fall apart.
So, what do two junior varsity soccer goalies have to do with team chemistry? Well, sophomore Brayten Bowers and freshman Nic Gasperi would argue that they bond the whole team together, a JV soccer team that went 13-2-1 on the season.
“I feel like when I’m on the team, I can bond all the guys together really easily,” said Bowers, “When me and Nic started playing together on the JV level, I knew we were going to be something special.”
The two goalies shared playing time equally throughout the season, with Bowers starting the game and Gasperi coming in after the second half. For the team, though, the duo brings a chemistry to squad that would otherwise be lost even if it was only one of them on the team.
“I think in comparison to a real life, boyfriend and girlfriend relationship, Me and Nic are really comparable to that,” said Bowers, “We talk all the time, and being on the same team has made this one of my most favorite seasons in my life. I can’t imagine playing another season with this beautiful man.”
Throughout the season, the dynamic duo saw their friendship grow from the first day of team practice to the final game of the season. They witnessed the best and the worst of each other in their toughest times. from a tough loss against south to amazing free kick blocks, Bowers and Gasperi picked each other up through thick and thin.
“I missed a shot on goal one time against a really bad team one time,” said Bowers, “ and I was really mad, throwing stuff and sulking, and then Nic came over and just told the stupidest joke, like to anyone else it wouldn’t have been funny at all, but to me I just started cracking up and laughing my butt off. It really made everything better.”
Their friendship and bond translates to the team, too. The friendship of the entire team is said to radiate around Bowers and Gasperi, whether it be on a group chat for the team or at a team dinner. While mostly everybody on the team is friends with each other, the two goalkeepers keep the tension loose during every situation by just being themselves.
“We have this group chat for the team,” said Gasperi, “and some very questionable things happen on that group chat that I wont talk about, but really it’s just the funniest thing. People photoshop other guy’s faces on to pictures, posting very inappropriate snapchats that one of which Brayten partook in, and all around very funny things. It really just helps loosen the team up.”
At the end of the season, Gasperi got called up to play for the varsity Lancer soccer squad during the playoffs. He was the third backup, behind senior Michael Moedritzer and junior Thomas Allegri in order to get experience for the upcoming seasons for the freshman.
“Even though I’m disappointed I didn’t get the call to play for the varsity squad, I’m still really proud of my little buddy,” said Bowers, “It’s amazing that he’s playing for the team as a freshman, and he definitely deserves it.”