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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Former UMass Boston goalkeeper becomes goalie coach at Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Dowd back in his playing days

After a stellar career at the University of Massachusetts Boston as a four-year starter at goalkeeper, Brycen Dowd has moved onto helping the next generation of young collegiate soccer players.
After graduating in 2013, Dowd decided he couldn’t stay away from the game he loved for too long. He decided to follow one of his assistant coaches, Connor Erickson, to Wentworth and sign on as the goalie coach.
Erickson has taken over as the Head Coach of a struggling Wentworth program, and he and Dowd are trying to build a winner. Dowd is in the top 5 of just about every UMass Boston goalkeeper statistics category, but he now has a whole new set of challenges in front of him. He recently talked to the Mass Media about his new career and the expectations he has for his club.
So how does it feel to get back into soccer after being off campus for a year?
It feels great. I definitely miss playing, but it’s great to be back in the game at the college level.
Being D3 like UMass Boston, will your team have to face your former team at any point this season?
No not this year, but they are in the same division so maybe we will try and set something up. The head coach, Connor, was in the UMass system last year and I know he would like to set something up.
What kind of wisdom are you hoping to impart to these young goalies?
I would really like to help them with the practical stuff of the in-game situations, and then try and help them out with the tactical elements of the game. You know we have some good athletic kids with good technique, which is what you want to see from a kid coming out of high school. I’m hoping to work on the more tactical and mental aspects of the game, which are so important at the college level.
Did you know you wanted to be a coach during your time at UMass Boston or did you have to do some soul searching first?
After I broke my hand last year, I saw that as a player, it was kind of rough sitting on the sidelines, but I absorbed some of the coaching duties in trying to help the team any way I could since I couldn’t play. After I left I had definitely thought about coaching, and now I’m glad I am because it’s a way to be around the game and help others who love it as much as I do.
Do you get the same rush from coaching that you did from playing: in watching players make good plays, and win games, and become young men?
It’s more of a rush at times. Like the other day we were up by a couple of goals and I was nervous and excited on the sideline probably even more so than I was when I was playing. I actually think i was a little more relaxed when I was on the field myself, when I was a little bit more in control.
Do you think you have developed a coaching style, or do you think you need more time to figure out what kind of coach you are?
I think that’ll develop. I’m in a unique position where I get to have a great relationship with the goalies, similar to the one I had with my goalie coach at UMass Boston, which is great. I am still great friends with my assistant coach, and hope to remain good friends with him, and I hope to build bonds like that with my players. I just want to make them the best they can be and then we will be on the same page the whole time. With the other players, I don’t really know what my coaching style is yet, we’ll have to wait and see.
Have you set any goals for your self for your first few years at Wentworth, such as establishing a team culture, or is that more the head coach’s job?
That’s a little bit more for the head coach. Connor has been great, he’s very receptive to any ideas that me or any of the other coaches have, and he’s willing to talk about them. Right now he’s trying to build a competitive nature, which I totally agree with, and just the whole program has become more serious since he’s been here.