At Boston University’s field hockey program, Alvarez was facing a similar experience to her classmate’s. She didn’t have much time to prepare for a conference championship.
A teammate who shared a room with the goalie had tested positive for the virus. Alvarez was asked if she could play in the net before the game.
“After my first save, everyone was hugging me and yelling like, ‘Let’s go,’” she said. “It was 0-0 at the time, so it was nice.”
The Terriers lost to Bucknell on a corner in overtime, but Alvarez stepped up to bring them even to that point. It’s the most extreme example of the way emergency goalies have had an impact on Covid-clouded seasons.
One fill-in, Logan Johns, a men’s soccer player at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Mich., earned a shutout win after his team found itself without each of its top two goalies because of Covid protocols.
His first save was “ugly,” he said, but it gave him confidence that he could finish the game.
“I had to dive to the left and got my hands in front of it, which is what you’re supposed to do,” Johns said. “It went through my hands and hit my chest and bounced straight out of bounds. It was really ugly but it didn’t go in the net so I was like, ‘Oh, I can actually do this.’”