He’s started only 31 games for Spalding men’s soccer in Louisville.
But junior goalkeeper and former McCracken County star Trevor Massa has already had an emphatic impact on the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
So much of an impact, in fact, that SLIAC officials last week tabbed the 5-foot-9, 165-pound Golden Eagle for its 2010-19 All-Decade Team, as one of 23 players from the Division III league (and one of six from Spalding) to nab the honor.
Massa made SLIAC Third-Team All-Conference in 2018, where he worked his way into starting position and finished the year 7-2 with four shutouts, 61 saves, an .803 saves percentage and just 15 goals allowed (1.48/game) in 914:50 minutes between the posts.
In 2019, he’d earn the league’s coveted SLIAC “Defensive Player of the Year,” after finishing 13-4-2 in 21 starts with 11 shutouts, 96 saves, an .850 saves percentage and 17 goals allowed (0.79/game) in another 932:50 minutes at keep.
“It was a big deal for him to win (SLIAC Defensive Player of the Year) last year as a sophomore, and it was something we were really proud of, and happy for him,” noted Spalding coach Adam Boyer in a digital interview with the SLIAC. Really, he earned it. He was consistent over the course of the season, and he’s been very consistent in conference play over the course of two seasons. Trevor is very consistent, very technical, but he also brings a strong element of leadership.
“My head coach at Centre College always told me: ‘You’re only as good as your goalkeeper.’ And we’ve had a really strong goalkeeper in between the two posts over the last two seasons, and it’s had a big help on the success we’ve had on the field.”
During his high school career, Massa was doing this at Mercy Health Field and across the commonwealth, where from 2015-17 he compiled 31 shutouts and allowed just 78 goals in 70 games.
Now, he’s doing it at the next level.
And it just feels ... right.
“I think it’s been really cool, because one of the reasons I went to Spalding was to get out ... and get away from the guys I’d been playing with,” Massa said. “There’s nothing wrong with them. Those guys? I’ve been playing with them since I was 3. But whenever I went to Spalding, I wanted to see who else I could play with: different coaches, different players, different play-styles. And that’s what’s made it so interesting and fun and different.
“Going from not starting and having to work my way up again is not really a situation I’ve been in, in a long time, which is weird to say, but it was fun to get in there and have to rebuild all those relationships ... and the new chemistry between new leftbacks, new rightbacks, new centerbacks, it was fun. I really liked it.”
Massa hasn’t forgotten his old relationships either. He knows he’s not even playing goalkeeper without his first crew at the ’Plex — the “Ballhogs” (with guys like Caleb Perry, Preston and Brendan Wright, Kiael Waldon, and others) — moving him there because he “didn’t want to run.”
But instead of ever shifting to a defender or a wing midfielder, Massa simply adapted, and embraced other traits to help him with keeping ... knowing full-and-well his 5-9 frame wasn’t going to get much bigger.
“I think ... way back in freshman, sophomore year of high school ... was when I realized that I probably wasn’t going to get much taller, considering I’m the same height as my dad and a little bit taller than my mom,” he said. “I decided I should probably figure out how to jump really high. Get side-to-side, or up-and-down, as fast as I could. That’s going to be the edge, because anytime you send a message to a college coach and you say ‘5-9 goalkeeper,’ the majority of them are just going to click off and say ‘I can find taller or better,’ or ‘maybe a little worse, but still taller.’
“With that in hand, I had to figure out how to be loud. Be communicative. At McCracken games, I was always screaming my head off, even at people all the way down the field. That’s just something else to give me an edge, give my team an edge. If I’m not going to be able to get high balls out of the air that other people are going to get, I’m going to make sure the people in front of me don’t get in a situation to put those high balls up in the air. It’s more of a prevention thing, rather than a reactive thing.”
Stellar numbers. Memorable numbers.
And good enough to put him in this all-decade conversation.