Senior * St. Elizabeth * boys soccer
THE WEEK: Scored two goals and assisted on one of Craig Harris’ two goals as St. Elizabeth scored a 4-1 victory at Sanford on Thursday. “They were playing a lot in the midfield, so we knew we had to keep the ball and keep it moving so they would shift and lanes would open up,” Gautier said.
THE SEASON: St. Elizabeth is 6-1, with its only loss being a 2-1 setback against St. Mark’s. This season the postseason has been split into two divisions, and St. Elizabeth is in Division II. “We know we’re one of the top [teams] in Division II, so we’re really going for it,” said Gautier, who thinks the split is an advantage since St. Elizabeth is a smaller school. Gautier has eight goals and three assists through the seven games.
THE OPPONENT: Gautier, who plays center midfielder or forward, said Caravel was St. Elizabeth’s toughest foe this season. “We came back [and] were able to pull that one out in the last 50 seconds,” he said. The Vikings’ next challenge comes on Friday, when they play Mount Pleasant at Kirkwood Soccer Club.
THE DRIVE: The Vikings didn’t have a bad season last year. The team was 12-4 but lost to St. Georges, 1-0, in the opening round of the state tournament. “I remember last year, I had a free kick that went over, and that was one of the bigger plays of the game,” Gautier said of the memorable moment that is motivating him to make it to the playoffs again.
THE PREPARATION: Although the senior captain led his team in scoring last year, he put in work during the offseason. “I really just worked on my touch, went out pretty much every day, shot and played pick-up games when I could,” he said.
THE COACH SAYS: “He’s kind of been the clutch guy this year,” said Eddie Gibbons. “Every year the senior group is important. … He’s been able to be the vocal captain on the field.” Gibbons mentioned that, when the team lost Gautier for a game due to injury, the level of play deteriorated and communication was off. “He’s really kind of the heart and soul behind [the program], and everyone I think kind of picks up after him,” the coach said.
THE START: The four-year starter began playing soccer at 5 or 6 years old. “My dad, he played at DelTech and he played all through his high school career,” said Gautier, who credits his father for getting him involved in the sport. Gautier also enjoys watching soccer players like Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
THE CLASSROOM: “My favorite subject is probably anatomy,” said Gautier. “I’m into the body and finding out why things happen.”
THE FUTURE: Gautier wants to continue his soccer journey next year. He’s interested in West Chester and Wilmington University. He’s not sure where he’ll end up but knows he wants to study physical therapy or pharmaceuticals.
– Gianna Banner