Jake Gosselin has spent almost the entirety of his travel soccer career with FC Frederick but came into his third season the club’s PRO Program with a clear goal in mind — to perform well and put his name out there in the National Premier Soccer League.
Entering his junior year at Millersville University in the fall, the Francis Scott Key High School graduate and former Times Player of the Year is no stranger to accolades and that trend continued this summer.
Gosselin was one of Frederick’s top forwards and attacking options and finished with eight goals in 10 games — good enough for sixth best in the NPSL’s Northeast Region. He also added in four assists.
Gosselin was voted to the All Mid-Atlantic Conference Team and All-NPSL XI Northwest Region Team as one of the top 12 forwards in the entire league, a surprise to him.
“I never expected any of it,” he said. “I just made the plan in my mind with my coaches and my teammates that I’m going to work super hard and I’m going to do my best to perform for the team.”
But while Gosselin said he was honored to receive the prestigious hardware, it was far from the top highlight of his season.
Frederick finished with a 4-4-2 regular-season record, earning the No. 3 seed in Mid-Atlantic Conference tournament and a shot at redemption. The club suffered an overtime loss to Legacy 76 in the championship game one year prior.
This time around proved different.
Frederick upset No. 2 seed Northern Virginia United in a penalty shootout, and fended off top-seeded FC Baltimore one day later to win the conference title.
The trophy exceeded all other awards for Gosselin, he said.
“The coolest part of the season was when we won that conference championship and I got to celebrate it with the guys in the locker room afterward,” he said.
Frederick eventually fell to undefeated New York Cosmos B 2-0 in the Northeast Regional semifinals, but Gosselin said he felt the season was an overall success.
While FC Frederick is centrally based in Frederick, as the name suggests, the NPSL team had a handful Carroll County influence this season.
Gosselin and five former Carroll standouts — Kevin Morris, Phil Breno, Tommy Spear and Brett Basham, all from South Carroll High School, and Gerstel’s David Warburton — were an integral part of the club’s success in 2018.
Morris joined Gosselin on the All Mid-Atlantic Conference Team.
The 2016 Times Player of the Year carried over a storied high school career and capped a successful freshman season at West Virginia University last fall.
Morris started 10 games for the Mountaineers’ defense. They finished 9-6-4 and earned a MAC Championship berth.
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In his first season with FC Frederick, Morris helped anchor the defense, which allowed a conference-low nine goals.
“Defensively, it really comes down to organization,” Morris said. “We were pretty organized in the back. A lot of experienced guys that have been around the game for a while, who know how to communicate and all of that.”
Basham was a Times first-team all-county pick on defense in 2013. Spear earned the same honor twice (2013, 2014) as a midfielder, and Breno in 2011 and 2012.
Warburton helped Gerstell win the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship in 2011, and earned all-MIAA honors that same season.
Morris and Gosselin said they enjoyed their time playing with FC Frederick. More importantly, they said, it helped them prepare them for their upcoming college seasons.
“The level [of play] is very high,” Morris said. “All of the guys are ex-college players, high-level players.
“It’s really like a college-level environment.”