Owen Kempton, a goalie for CT Rush Shoreline 2002 Boys and Cheshire Academy, is this week’s featured athlete as a part of EDP’s College Commitment Series and is committed to playing men’s soccer at Northeastern University as a goalkeeper the 2020 recruiting class.
Kempton is a three-time Western New England Prep School Soccer Association all-star and was selected to play in last year’s New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Junior All-Star Game, earning all-state honors and was selected to play in the WNEPPSSA Class A/B Large School Boys' Soccer All-Star Game. Kempton also was a large part of CT Rush Shorelines success in the 2019 US Youth Soccer North Atlantic Conference season, as the team advanced to participate in the 2019-2020 National League against the nations top teams.
“Owen had a couple of options going into the summer, Northeastern was one of them. The Northeastern coaches had seen him at a couple of tournaments we played in and they kept a dialogue going. They saw us play in the EDP Cup last year against Levittown. It was great, EDP gives us a great springboard to get these guys recruited. He went to a camp with them, and it was after that camp that I think sealed everything and they were ready to make a formal offer,” said Kempton’s club coach, Greg Cumpstone, who has been coaching him for five years.
Cumpstone told EDP, “Owen is really coachable. He understands the game, but he also asks questions when he doesn’t understand things too. He always wants to learn and to improve as a player. Owen has a great presence on the field and is the kind of goalkeeper who instills calmness in the defense. The backline is never worried about him making a mistake. He brings a lot of leadership to the team on the field. All those things are intangibles he brings when he’s on the field.”
He continued, “Over my time coaching Owen he’s become a better leader, but he’s always been a leader. Owen has always carried himself well in training, he’s always been a reference point to the players on how to conduct themselves in training and how to conduct themself off the field. Owen has always had that. And I do think as he’s gotten older and gotten more responsibility, the team has improved. As we’ve gone up in different leagues and divisions or gone to different showcases, Owen has really stepped up for all of them. There’s a reason he’s been our captain for the last 3 seasons.”
When asked by EDP, what Cumptsone felt the future held for Kempton as he moved on to Northeastern as a freshman this year, he had this to say, “I think Owen has got a big future, he works really hard and attends all of our team practices. Not only that, but he also sees a private goalkeeper coach on the side and has a strength and condition coach as well. He isn’t settling for what’s automatically afforded to him by being on our team. He’s seeking outside training with other coaches. Physically, he has the presence to compete in Division 1. He’s a great shot-stopper. As Owen gets older and gets more experience, he’s going to continue to improve that much more and improve on the tactical side of things too. I can see Owen making an impact and impression right away as a freshman, but again, it’s not up to me. It’s up to him what he does at Northeastern. He has the work ethic and the maturity to make the most of his opportunities.”
Finally, when it comes to Kempton’s biggest strength as a goalkeeper, Cumpstone felt, “I would say maybe two things. One, he’s hypercritical of himself. After a game if he conceded a goal, he’ll say ‘hey, what could I have done on that first one’ or ‘that second one, do you think I could have done better?’ Owen wants that feedback, he's looking for it all the time from his coaches. From my experience as a coach, sometimes that can be detrimental to a goalkeeper since it’s such a confidence based position. If you're hypercritical of yourself, it can eat away at you. But, Owen, he is really self-confident, although he’s very self-critical, he’s also very self-confident which is the second thing. He is someone if he does make a mistake, which is rare, he'll bounce back quickly. It’s not going to be something to weigh him down and affect him. This for me, when you get to a certain level, the mental side of the position is more important than anything physical. Owen has a really good mental side as a goalkeeper and is always looking to improve. If I told him good job, Owen, he’d be asking, what can I do better?”
EDP would like to wish Owen the best of luck at Northeastern University in his first season as a freshman and the remainder of his club season this year with the CT Rush Shoreline 2002 Boys.
Founded in 1999, Elite Development Program Soccer (EDP) is one of the largest organizers of youth soccer leagues and tournaments in the U.S. EDP operates youth leagues for boys and girls ages 9-19, conducts a Futures program for players ages 7-11, and operates U20/23 men’s and women’s leagues. EDP also runs over 20 tournaments each year. The key emphasis for EDP’s leagues and tournaments is its Pathway to College™ programming which enables soccer players to reach their full potential with an emphasis on attending college. More than 3,500 teams participate in EDP’s leagues and more than 170,000 players compete in EDP tournaments annually. For more information on EDP, visit www.edpsoccer.com.