Shannon Lucas won the Golden Glove award as the best goalkeeper at the National Secondary Schools Futsal tournament last week. Two years ago it was uncertain whether the Rongotai College First XI footballer would ever kick a ball again.
“I tore an ACL in the first five minutes of a game jumping into the air to make a save. My right leg was off the ground and the opposing striker accidentally crashed into my left leg which was still on the ground. I felt a snap right away,” Lucas bemoans.
Lucas was sidelined for the best part of two years, but found solace and strength in rowing.
“I discovered rowing was a way of strengthening the muscle and I really got into it. I had some success and it was an amazing experience, but I’m better at football,” Lucas reveals.
Lucas is a Capital Futsal representative and believes his inclusion in that programme along with some of his Rongotai teammates explains the success of his school in futsal this year. Rongotai finished runners up to Wellington College at Nationals, but beat the same opposition in the local final.
“I think we’ve bonded strongly as a team this season and the boys in the Capital team have been able to transfer some of the skills learnt at a higher level to Rongotai which has been awesome,” Lucas enthuses.
Last Friday, Rongotai was narrowly beaten by Wellington 2-0 in the National final. Lucas made a series of exceptional saves. He was proud of the Rongotai effort.
“We were disappointed to lose, but the intensity of that match was an amazing experience and we left everything out there. We beat Hamilton Boys’ 2-1 in the semi-final and that was another highlight of the week,” Lucas says.
Two days later the same teams met in the final of the Wellington league. Wellington had beaten Rongotai three times this season and initially it appeared history would repeat itself again.
“We were chasing the whole game. Three times we fell behind, three times we equalised. We were keen prove ourselves and it was a team effort to beat them,” Lucas acclaims.
Rongotai won 7-6 on penalties.
“I managed to save Wellington’s second shot, but then one of our shooters missed and was 2-2 going into sudden death. I saved another shot and they missed again so we won,” Lucas reflects.
Lucas is a restless figure in goal and explains the method to his madness.
“I need to be on my toes all the time. When the ball is headed towards me, I’m thinking about any number of possibilities. Will he shot? Will he pass? Do I have to go left? Do I have to go right? Things happen quickly and it can get pretty crazy,” Lucas laughs.
Lucas sported a shaved head for the final sponsoring a cancer fundraiser.
Lucas has been playing futsal for less than three years. In 2017, Lucas was the Golden Gloves winner at the National U16 tournament.
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