Liverpool native and SRU men’s soccer redshirt senior goalie Jonathan Sharp currently leads the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) in save percentage with .830 through eight games this season.
The Rock’s record sits at 1-4-3 on the season, with a pair of back to back ties against Lock Haven University (4-2-3) and Gannon University (4-4-1)this past weekend, and a loss to Seton Hill University (4-1-1) on Wednesday 2-1. No other goalie in the PSAC, besides Sharp, has a save percentage above .800.
Sharp has started all eight games in net for the Green and White, while also posting goals against average of 1.038 which lands him third in the PSAC in that category. He also ranks fourth in the PSAC in saves per game with 5.5, totaling 44 saves so far this season. Sharp described his success this season as a team effort more than anything.
“The team collectively I think we’ve come together,” Sharp said. “We’ve bonded well with a solid team culture as well.”
In The Rock’s second game of the season, Sharp posted a shutout in their two to nothing win over Lake Erie College (2-6), while also holding Gannon to no goals in their 0-0 tie this past Sunday. For the Green and White offense, they have only combined for six goals on the season through eight games. Goal support though doesn’t seem to be a huge factor in Sharp’s ability to play, he mentioned.
“The team has created chances, we’ve just been unfortunate in front of the goal.” Sharp said. “I believe that the team is locking on scoring and trying hard to score. From my point of view it doesn’t make a difference.”
Sharp, a physical activity and fitness management major, was born in Liverpool, England and attended Liverpool College for high school where he played soccer and cricket. He came to The Rock in 2015, but first attended Lander University in South Carolina for two seasons.
The now redshirt senior started one game his first year at SRU, but followed up with eight starts in 2016, as he went 2-4-1 with a save percentage of .750. The style of play from his time in England, to his time here at The Rock has its differences Sharp said.
“In terms of playing style, America is a lot more athletic based,” Sharp said. “Back home it’s a lot more tactical. You get the ball down in play and try to maybe work the ball into the box instead of kick and run.”
It is coming up on five years since Sharp has been playing soccer and going to school in the states, and there becomes a lot of things he misses from back home, Sharp said.
“I miss my family most of all,” Sharp said. “And then I also miss the weather, it’s a bit off for me down here, and then the winters get a bit cold.”
The Rock returns to action this Saturday when the team, travels to East Stroudsburg (4-2-1) with the game starting at 1:00 p.m.