On Friday night, Brian Potter began his senior season of soccer at Husson University in fine fashion. Potter made nine saves, and the Eagles took a 1-0 win at Endicott College in the season opener. Endicott blasted 31 shots, most over the crossbar or wide of the net, but when called upon to make a save, Potter did his job. It was the 14th shutout of his career, and that is the second-most in Husson goaltending history.

“(Endicott) definitely controlled the game,” Potter said.

Like many college seniors, Potter is starting to think about life after school. Unlike many senior athletes, especially at the Division III level, Potter is thinking that future includes his sport.

“I’d love to keep playing somewhere. I played with the Portland Phoenix this summer. Maybe I’ll play with them again. Maybe I’ll try to coach,” Potter, a graduate of Erskine Academy said.

This summer, Potter took part in a pro soccer combine on Long Island, where he played well enough to be invited to join a team on a tour of Sweden. The timing of the trip didn’t work, but Potter came away from the experience confident he can play at a higher level.

“There was some good competition there,” Potter said. “I’ve got a lot more confidence.”

Goal keeper is one of those positions that often gets too much credit and too much blame. Rarely is there any middle ground.

“Whenever you make that big save, everyone is happy for you,” Potter said. “When you don’t make a save, people wonder why you didn’t, even if it wasn’t your fault.”

Like any good goalie, Potter forgets the bad goals allowed, and remembers all the big saves. On Friday night, the good saves included getting his hands on a long, high shot targeted for the upper 90 of the goal in the first half, that kept the game a scoreless tie.

A couple years ago, there was a save in the North Atlantic Conference playoffs against New England College that Potter still thinks about. It was another high shot, and Potter went fully extended, hoping to get a hand on the ball and knock it over the crossbar.

Stretched like a stressed rubber band, Potter caught the ball.

“I don’t know how I made that catch,” Potter said.

Potter hopes his senior season, which continues when the Eagles played Montclair (N.J.) State on Saturday on day two of Endicott’s Gull Invitational, is a springboard, not a swan song. Husson opens NAC play on Sept. 20 at home against Colby-Sawyer. The Eagles were picked third in the conference preseason poll, behind Castleton and Thomas.

“After (Friday) night’s game, I’m expecting some big things,” Potter said. “I’d like to end on a high note. I think we have the talent to win the league.”

A successful senior season could help Potter determine his soccer future. The long term hinges on the now. Potter is ready. The future is like making a save. Stretch hard enough, and you might grab it instead of just knocking it away.

“You try for every ball, because you never know,” Potter said. “You might get your hand on it.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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