Here’s a story.
A soccer player goes from beginning the season as a team’s third-string goalie to becoming the face the team looked to during championship time.
That is the tale of sophomore goalkeeper Nathaniel Howard, who before last Friday’s Little East Conference Semifinals had only played in four games of the season, two of which he played for less than 25 minutes.
Howard was put in after Keene’s regular go-to goalie, sophomore Anthony Pasciuto, was forced to sit out of two games. Those two games just so happened to be debateably the two biggest games of the season; the LEC semifinals and the LEC final.
Howard, with at that time only 163 minutes in-goal for the season, stepped up to the plate and produced two shutouts for the Keene Owls, securing their spot as the 2019 LEC Champions.
Howard transferred from Central Connecticut State University after going to school and competing on the soccer team there for a year.
During Howard’s time at CCSU he competed in three games and accumulated a total of nine saves. CCSU, a D1 school, finished tenth this year in their conference.
Howard was put in as the starting goalie for round one of the NCAA men’s soccer tournament this past Saturday, November 16. Keene State College took on Ithaca College to determine who would face off against Amherst College in round two. He played the full 90-minute game and, although Keene ended up falling to Ithaca, Howard racked up a game save percentage of .778.
Howard, now a staple player for Keene’s men’s soccer team, ends the season with a save percentage of .833. However, Howard is not ranked in the Little East Conference standings because he did not compete in over 33 percent of team goalie minutes.
Claire Boughton can be contacted