Red-shirt freshman keeper Dane Brenner entered Sunday afternoon’s game against Providence with no college playing time, but he left the game with 100 minutes of experience and his first career win.
So far this season, Brenner has sat on the bench watching his counterpart, Peter Lechak, waiting for his opportunity.
“Peter’s a good player and every week it’s like we are battling for the start, and it’s just up to Coach (George Kiefer),” Brenner said.
In Brenner’s first start Sunday, he stopped all 11 shots he faced in 90 minutes of regulation and nine minutes of overtime.
Included in Brenner’s 11 saves was a diving stop to his right to save a sure goal from a Providence midfielder with 10:37 left in the first half. The midfielder dribbled his way through two Bulls defenders and took a long shot from outside the penalty area.
“I do look for more starts in the future,” Brenner said. “I have been working hard in practice and it’s just been paying off.”
Lechak had been the starting keeper in the five previous games for the Bulls, but Brenner had played well enough in practice to earn himself a start.
“Dane showed very well in training,” Kiefer said. “If I give my word that he’ll get a chance when the time is right, I’m going to honor my commitment to him. If you ask me now who’s going to start on Friday, I’d have to say Dane.”
Brenner said he had to shake off some early nerves.
“Before the game I was a little nervous, but once you get going you don’t even notice how much time has gone by, and you just get into the game,” Brenner said, “I’m excited and going to keep working hard, just trying to keep getting the start.”