Fall sports is back for the 2023 season at Bridgewater State University, and one of those sports is men’s soccer. The most important position on the field in the game of soccer is the goalkeeper. They are fundamental to whether the team wins, loses, or draws. Graduate student William Russell is the starting goalkeeper for the Bears and is one of three goaltenders on the team. Russell is studying for a MBA in business administration; he graduated last year with a bachelor’s degree in general management. After he graduates, he’s looking to get into management consulting or another career in the management field.
Russell is a graduate of Sandwich High School. He played goalkeeper for the junior varsity team during his first two years before moving on to the varsity team. He was on the first team on the Atlantic Coast League All-Conference team during his senior year. Russell shared that he has played soccer since he was four years old and has been a goalkeeper since the 6th grade on his club and travel team.
Russell says that his goal for the season is to help the Bears win the MASCAC Championship. Last season, BSU went to the MASCAC Championship against the Worcester State Lancers, where the Bears lost in the penalty shootout. A win at MASCAC would be the first one since 2018 and would also punch a ticket to the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament.
Commenting on the team, Russell said, “I think we came in a good spot. Having a lot of starters back. So, we thought that we could start off very strong this year, from the position to keep going and to build off last year.” At the time of the interview with Russell, the Bears were getting ready to face off against the tough team of Brandeis University on September 12. The Bears ended up tying with the Judges after a questionable offsides call in the final minute that cost the Bears a game winning goal. The Bears did have a tough non-conference schedule to begin the season, and Russell thinks the team started off okay.
Russell got his first shutout of the season as BSU started MASCAC conference play against Worcester State last Friday 1-0. Russell has started all five games with a 2-1-2 record, he has allowed six goals and made 28 saves for a .824 save percentage. During his three years as a starter, he has a 15-13-6 record with eight shutouts in 34 starts.