CHATHAM, NJ – Chatham coach Mark Maka noticed something about Brian Guimond during the 2016 boys soccer season.
“He brought energy and a fight to the team as a junior and as the season went on he played more and more minutes,” Maka said. “We started seeing that every time he got on the field, good things were happening for the team.”
That trend continued for Chatham last Friday when Guimond produced a “Golden Goal” with three minutes left in the second overtime to give the Cougars an uplifting 2-1 win at Morristown.
Sign Up for E-News
Brian Guimond is the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week.
Guimond’s winning goal – which tucked into the lower right corner of the goal – was actually a crossing pass, another testament to Guimond’s ability to make good things happen for Chatham.
“I wasn’t shooting, I can tell you that for a fact,” Guimond said. “Aeden Joel passed me the ball. I was streaming up the left side, and I had the one-two move that got me past the defender. I was looking for Andrea (Chevalier) at the near post. I put the ball in and I tried to strike it hard and it ended up going past the keeper into the bottom right. It was an amazing feeling. That’s a big-time win for us.”
Morristown had won two straight games over the Cougars by scoring late goals, including last year when the game was tied up late in regulation and the Colonials won in overtime.
“Having him step up in a big spot like that is huge,” Chatham senior keeper Peter DeMaria said. “It was a big, big win. It’s always been a battle between Morristown and us. It’s good to get a little bit of revenge.”
The goal by Guimond brought attention to the importance his play has meant to the team this young season. A midfielder and forward last year, Maka placed him at left back to steady the defense.
“He played midfield and he played striker a bit last year,” Maka said. “Through the preseason, we were having some struggles defensively and I wanted to get a senior back there with some leadership. I think he’s fit that role really well.
“He has the ability to get forward and in our system this year. We want our outside backs to get forward. The goal really came out of good defensive positioning from Brian, which is something we’ve been working on. Being able to transition that into the attack was great.”
Guimond was one of the leading scorers on the 2016 team that struggled on the offensive end, but the 17-year-old tri-captain has no qualms about being seen as a defender first.
“As I grew in the Chatham soccer program, I came from first defense and then I went up sophomore year and I was playing left wing,” Guimond said. “And then my junior year, I started playing forward and started scoring goals. And now I’m back at left back, so it’s a full cycle for me.
“I would love to get (forward) myself, but I think coach likes me as the focal point in the back. Any chance I can get forward – corners, free kicks – I’m going.”
DeMaria has played with Guimond through a number of soccer seasons, so he’s seen the full depth of his personality.
“Hes a funny guy, but when it comes down to soccer he’s all business,” DeMaria said. “He works very hard in practice. He’s just Brian. Being around him for years, he’s a funny guy. He’s a team player who will go anywhere the team needs him. He’s a playmaker who brings and extra fire to the field. When he has it on his feet, he’ll make a difference with it.”
Editor’s note: The Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week is sponsored by the John Hawk Agency. John and his team have been protecting local families and business owners for over 12 years. Call them at 973-635-9494 for a new auto, home, life and business insurance quote this week and if you mention the Hawk Allstate Chatham Athlete of the Week they will make a $20 contribution to the Chatham Booster Club! To learn more, visit the agency website.