A year later, Jake Chase is still humble about ‘the goal.’
On Nov. 4, 2012, Chase, a 2011 Cooperstown graduate, scored the biggest goal in Morrisville State University men’s soccer history, sending a free kick high into the goal against Penn State Abington 1:01 into overtime and his Mustangs to their first North Eastern Athletic Conference title and NCAA Tournament berth.
“I got the goal, but I know in my head it was a great team effort,” said Chase, who just completed his junior season at Morrisville.
“As a player, you live to be in that situation,” he continued. “Growing up, you are always pretending in your backyard that you are making that kind of kick.”
Chase said that the win was even more amazing because his team had trailed Penn State most of the game. Joey Plummer tied the game with just over four minutes left. Chase said that his teammates knew they wanted to strike again quickly in overtime. After a foul in the penalty box, he got his chance.
As a result, the Mustangs got to go to the Division III tournament, losing to Carnegie Mellon in the first round.
“It was just an amazing experience,” Chase said. “I remember how exciting it was being escorted down onto the field. I’d love to get back there.”
The Mustangs just missed returning to the tournament this season. They beat Abington in the NEAC semifinals on penalty kicks, but then lost on pks to SUNY IT in the finals.
Still Chase had another great season. The forward had seven goals and an assist, tying for a team high of 15 points. In 2012, he had 10 goals and six assists.
“He’s a true striker,” Morrisville coach Kyle Graves said. “He’s great around the goal. He’s a finisher, but he’s not just a scorer. He’s great with his teammates, always trying to help out. He’s also a very good defender.”
Chase played his first year of college soccer for Herkimer County Community College before transferring to MSU.
“Quite honestly, he would have been able to play here even straight from high school,” Graves said. “I knew when he got here from Herkimer that he would be able to step right into the program.”
Chase said he has not only done well on the pitch but is thriving in the small-town college atmosphere.
“I love it here,” he said. “It kind of reminds me of Cooperstown.”
Being on a college soccer team has been the fulfillment of his goals. Although Chase also played basketball and golf at CCS, he said soccer has always been his favorite sport.
“I’ve been playing since I was four years old,” he said. “I can’t get enough of it. I knew it was something that I didn’t want to give up. We’re always training, even if it is not in season. Sometimes, we take some time off, but after three or four days, I am itching to get back to it.”
The season just ended last month, but Chase said pretty soon he’ll be thinking about his senior season and getting his team back to the NCAAs.
Graves said Chase will be the perfect leader for next year’s squad.
“He’s not just a good athlete,” Graves said. “We’re always trying to get good people into the program. That’s the way he is. He is always taking time to work with the younger guys and make sure they are comfortable in our program.”