To be a goalkeeper, you have to be a little bit crazy.
When Hart boys soccer decided to switch one of their best strikers to goalkeeper, it seemed a little bit crazy.
The gamble paid off, though. Jacob Tomaszewski made the transition from the front of the attack to the last line of defense and has aided Hart in its 7-0 conquest of the Foothill League this season.
The idea of Tomaszewski’s switch began last season. The Indians coaching staff was trying out different goalies here and there, but weren’t completely happy with what they were seeing.
That’s when Tomaszewski stepped in.
“(Coach Adonay Jovel) was kind of joking about it during training one time,” said Tomaszewski. “I’m tall, I’m 6-1, and he said ‘Oh, maybe you should try it out’ and I think it was just a joke, but I was serious about it, so I stepped up and just started training.”
The senior had his first game in net against Saugus last season, which was the first game of league play. The result was a 4-1 loss, but Tomaszewski was hooked.
“It was tough,” he said. “I had to put in a lot of extra hours. Private training and stuff like that, but I think I kept the right mindset throughout the whole thing and that was really the most important part. Knowing that with the right amount of effort, I could do (it).”
In addition to the Indians’ undefeated record, Tomaszewski has only conceded two goals in seven league games.
Having experience as a forward has helped Tomaszewski as a goalkeeper. He can easily visualize oncoming attacks and relay what might happen to the Indians back line.
He reverts back to striker at times when Hart is ahead of its opponent, with Kevin Perez taking his place in goal. He also is the team’s go-to guy when it comes to penalty kicks and scored a PK goal in Hart’s 5-1 win over Valencia on Tuesday.
“He brings strength and height in the goal and also when we put him up top, he has that killer mentality to put the ball away,” said Jovel.
Hart is hopeful for an undefeated season and Foothill League title as it hosts Canyon on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
“We have a team that really wants to put forward the effort and its showing now,” Tomaszewski said.