For the past three years, Evan Cross has been biding his time.
Stuck behind starting goalkeeper Lucas Menz, the Squamish soccer product was glued to the bench for three seasons, but with Menz having graduated, Cross will finally have an opportunity to show his stuff between the pipes for the Quest Kermodes.
“I’ve been waiting three years for this,” he said. “I went from starting captain on my Vancouver Selects team, where we went to nationals two years in a row, to Quest where I sat on the bench all my first year and played two games in my second.”
Cross did get on the field last year for Quest, but not as a goalie. He filled in at various spots wherever the Kermodes needed after injuries and suspensions to several players.
“When I first got to Quest, I was promised some sort of playing time but I didn’t think I would be waiting around until my fourth year to get some,” he said. “I feel like I’ve got something to prove this year.”
Menz was a well-regarded keeper in the Pacwest and was named an all-star, but Cross said he doesn’t feel any pressure taking over in goal.
“He’s a great keeper but it’s my time and I feel like I don’t have any shoes to fill,” he said. “I know what I have to do and my team trusts and believes in me. I’m not nervous at all. I’m more excited to finally get to play.”
Evidence of the team’s faith in him was proven when Cross was recently announced as one of the captains of the team for this year.
“I’m really close with all the guys and they all respect me,” he said. “I’m ready to help lead this team and I’m so thankful it happened. I’m ready to take on everything that a captain needs to do.”
Cross said he thinks this year will finally be the year for the Kermodes to qualify for the postseason.
“This is definitely the year we will break through,” he said. “I know we say that every year and every year we’ve fallen short, but every year we’re getting closer as a squad. I’ve got high hopes for us, it’s Nationals or nothing.”
He also praised some of the new recruits and returning faces on this year’s team.
“We had some pretty big players leave last year like Mawuena [Mallet], Lucas and Ben [MacGregor],” he said. “But I’ve got high hopes for the recruits coming in.”
Cross pointed to midfielder J.B. McEown and defender Taylor Cooper as two strong new additions. He also said returning players like Charles Impey and Jonathon Friedman will help provide a solid leadership base.
“I’m really excited about the season. My time has come,” he said.
For more information on the team, visit www.questkermodes.ca.