Miguel Dominguez, who was the North Atlantic Conference’s Co-Rookie of the Year in 2007 and was the captain of Husson University’s soccer team this fall, has left the team for personal reasons, according to first-year head coach Jeff Gettler.
Sophomore Mason Smith from Houma, La., has replaced him in goal and freshman Jay Cuttle from Kittery is the backup.
“Miguel had some problems and he needed to recoup. They were out of the team context. They had nothing to do with the team: the players or me. It was completely off-the-field stuff,” said Gettler.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Smith. “But things happen. That’s the way the cards fell.
“So I’m just going to try my best for the rest of the season and try to be that guy for the team,” he added.
“Mason has been a great keeper for us,” said Gettler. “He has continued to show up and give us match-winning performances but we haven’t been playing well in front of him.”
“Mason has really stepped into the role [and played well],” said Husson sophomore back Ethan Qualey. “We’ve been letting way too many shots get in on him and he’s come up to the task on almost every single one of them.”
Dominguez played just one half of the opener against UM-Fort Kent.
Smith has played 493 minutes and 47 seconds and has a 3.46 goals-against average and a .776 save percentage. He has made 66 saves and allowed 19 goals in five and a half games.
The Eagles are 1-5 but they have played a grueling schedule that has included Rhode Island College, Bowdoin, Colby and Wheaton along with NAIA national power UM-Fort Kent.
Dominguez had been a workhorse for the Eagles.
He had a 2.10 goals-against average and a .739 save percentage in 19 games a year ago while playing all but 250 minutes. He had two shutouts in leading the Eagles to their first ever NCAA Division III Tournament berth.
Dominguez was particularly sharp in the post-season, making six saves in a 2-0 NAC semifinal win over Maine Maritime Academy; 11 in a 3-1 win over Castleton State in the title game and eight more in a 3-0 loss to Williams College (Mass.) in their NCAA Division III playoff game.
Williams was ranked sixth in the country at the time.
Smith played 204 minutes last season had an 0.44 GAA and a .923 save percentage with one shutout. Joey Kane, who hasn’t returned, played 46 minutes.
In 2008, Dominguez posted a 2.16 GAA and a .685 save percentage with four shutouts in 2008 while playing 1169 minutes. Brad Ala played 568 minutes.
Dominguez, a native of Rome, Ga., had a 1.95 GAA and a .732 save percentage to earn NAC Co-Rookie of the Year honors in 2007.