Athlete of the Week: Lucas Bernstein

Senior goalie makes contributions in first career starts

BJ McGrane, Sports Editor

Recent Team Results:
In an effort to play more games, Pascack Valley entered a “round robin” tournament with other teams from the surrounding area. In the tournament, Valley fell to Old Tappan by a score of 4-2 after the Golden Knights pulled away late in the second half.

Recent Performance:

Playing a crucial part in keeping PV in its game against Old Tappan, Bernstein preserved a 2-1 lead for Valley after saving a penalty kick and the subsequent shot attempt.

Bernstein kept OT at bay with acrobatic saves all night long, but the Golden Knights eventually struck, scoring three unanswered goals in the second half and securing the win.

Despite the loss, Bernstein’s efforts did not go unnoticed, – making acrobatic saves left and right in an attempt to keep Valley on top.

Expectations:

In his first season as Valley’s starter, Bernstein believes there is still some room to improve, even though he has been playing up to his standards.

“I definitely need to get better with controlling all the kids on my team, telling them what to do,” Bernstein said. “I think I’ve been doing pretty well, so I’m just going to keep trying to do what I’m doing.”

Challenges as the Goalie

According to Bernstein, perhaps the most difficult part of being the goalie is the responsibility that comes with the job. Every goal scored against Valley has to go through the goalie – and Bernstein knows it.

“If [the other team] scores a goal, the first thing you look at is the goalie,” Bernstein said.

What Bernstein Likes Most About Soccer:

“I overall just enjoy the game,” Bernstein said. “I like the kids who play, [and] I just like the overall environment.

Proudest Moment on the Field:

Bernstein’s proudest moment on the soccer field comes recently, as in the waning minutes of Pascack Valley’s 1-0 loss to Tenafly, he took flight to save a shot that would have stretched Tenafly’s lead late in the game.

“It was a breakaway, and the [opponent] took a shot from the [18-yard line], and it was in the top-right, and I saved it,” Bernstein said. “Easily my best save of the year.”

Best Sport Memory:

Playing on a club team in middle school, Bernstein and many of his close friends led their team to a league championship.

“[Winning the league] was a big thing,” Bernstein said.

Sport Superstitions:
A green “lucky hat” is a vital part of Bernstein’s in-game attire, as he is sure to wear it every game.

One Superpower He Would Want:

If he could choose one superpower, Bernstein would take the ability to become invisible.

“All the other superpowers are useless if you can’t see what you’re trying to hit,” Bernstein said.

What Bernstein Does In His Free Time:

Bernstein is an avid snowboarder in his free time, and also plays “the occasional video game” when he gets the chance.

One Thing People May Not Know:

Not only can Bernstein make acrobatic saves in the net, but he can also perform self-taught stunts on a trampoline.

Role Model:

Pascack Valley teacher Bill Koenig is a role model in life for Bernstein, due to his knowledge of almost everything.

“You talk to [Koenig], and he just seems like he knows everything,” Bernstein said. “Anything new that comes out, he learns about it immediately.”

Favorite Part About PV:

The best part about Pascack Valley for Bernstein is the people who attend the school, noting that he “likes everyone” who goes to PV.

Favorite TV Show: The Office
What kind of music he’s been listening to: Yung Gravy, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Current Favorite Song: Always Saucy by Yung Gravy
Favorite Teachers: Koenig and Jeff Jasper
Favorite Pro Athlete: Tom Brady

Future Plans:

Bernstein’s love of snowboarding will seemingly be an important factor in his decision on where to attend college, even if he is unsure if he wants to continue his soccer career past the high school level.

“I definitely want to go north for snowboarding,” Bernstein said. “I don’t know if I want to play soccer in college, but I definitely want to [study] engineering.”