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Cumpstone stars for Pride in "beautiful game"

By Stephen Rousseau, Staff Writer

Hofstra's sophomore goalkeeper Greg Cumpstone started playing "the beautiful game" at age 7 out of a sibling rivalry with his older brother. "We were a similar age so everything back then was a competition," Cumpstone said. "I wanted to be better than him, but I also looked up to him and wanted to follow in his footsteps a bit."

On his Facebook page, Cumpstone lists only one interest listed: Soccer. But, why would a guy who loves soccer because "it's fast paced and a very unpredictable sport" want to play in the net?  "I used to be a pretty good left winger," he said, "but I was too slow and didn't have a good enough touch to be great." So, when the goalkeeper on his travel team couldn't make it to a game when Cumpstone was 12, he decided to step in. "I played like absolute rubbish but I loved the position," he said. "When the returning keeper came back he gladly swapped positions with me," he said.

One could say the fraternal competition only helped Cumpstone become the player that he is now. Cumpstone started the last 12 games of the 2008 season as a freshman posting an impressive 1.52 goals against average, and four shutouts. He reprised his starting position throughout the entire 2009 season, and improved his play with a 1.34 goals against average, as well as posting seven shutouts.

Despite his peformance in college, Cumpstone's fondest memory as a player comes from his time playing at Haddam-Killingworth High School in Cumpstone's native Connecticut. Cumpstone's junior year, his team won the conference championship. Cumpstone's respect and admiration for his older brother made the victory even more significant, "My brother was on the team as captain," he said, "and it was the first in our school's history."
Cumpstone's favorite memories of his college play are less about him than what he's experienced being a part of the team. Two games he looks back on in particular are the Delaware and George Mason games of this past season. "I was reduced to basically a spectator because of how well we played," he said.

A history major, Cumpstone would "like to continue playing at the highest I possibly can, and for as long as I can," he said. And if that doesn't pan out, hents to get into law enforcement. "I'll probably try and join the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy," he said, "hopefully I'll get a job in the FBI."

(Photo Courtesy of Gohofstra.com)

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