As David Monk finishes his Ravens career, he reflects on the past – one not without challenges and memories.
Monk has recently wrapped up his fourth and final year as a member of the Carleton Ravens men’s soccer team.
Pursuing his Bachelor of Journalism degree, Monk has served as goaltender along with teammate and fellow netminder Nick Jeffs.
“I think any young child growing up in Canada, Timbit soccer is one of the first things that you do, you either play hockey or you play soccer, so that’s where I started. I started in Timbits probably at the kindergarten age,” Monk said about his start in the sport of soccer.
As to how he got stuck in net, Monk credited the reason to being that he wasn’t that great at the other soccer positions.
“It was because, in all honesty, I wasn’t good enough to play anything else,” Monk said. “If someone starts out in the position of a goalie at a young age and says I want to be a goalie for the rest of my life, I think that’s pretty rare to find.”
“It’s the kids who try to be striker, are not fast enough, try to be midfielder, but they don’t have a nice enough touch, try to be defender but something’s off, so you end up getting stuck in net,” he added.
Monk found his way onto the Ravens in the 2015-16 season, as he was drawn to the prestigious Journalism program Carleton University offers.
Since being on the Ravens, Monk has played in 28 career games, recording 18 wins, two losses, and three ties, as well as having 10 shutouts.
“Despite him being a very good goalie, he hasn’t enjoyed much spotlight over his time at Carleton but has continued to work and improve those around him selflessly,” teammate Tristan St. Pierre said about Monk. “Really, he’s the embodiment of all the qualities you could ask for, whether it be a teammate, student, or friend.”
From his time as a Raven, Monk has enjoyed many moments.
“I’d say the most memorable moment was seeing how much the team has progressed since I first played for the team,” Monk said.
He said he will also miss certain things about being a Raven.
“The brotherhood that you’re playing with. You get to see guys grow as men as well as soccer players, and also the first-year guys who came in last year, we had a huge recruiting class, so watching them grow has been incredible and growing with them is also incredible so I’ll miss that,” Monk said.
Throughout his soccer career, Monk believes that being a goalie has helped him with his mentality as a player, but also as a person.
“Being a goalie is very strenuous on your mental health and on your physical health as well. You are left all alone, a lot of the times the games come down to one mistake, or one save, and that determines the whole outcome. You could be lonely for 89 minutes, have one shot in the 90th minute and if you don’t save it your team loses the game, so having to deal with that for the better part of my whole life, has been very challenging in all honesty,” Monk said.
“Having to deal with that, you learn to develop a thick skin, and the best things you can learn is that being goalie is trying to forget your mistakes. To immediately shrug them off. So, using that outside of life, I can take a lot of criticism from people because I’m not going to let it get to me,” Monk added.
To players interested in joining the Ravens men’s soccer team, Monk stated that the main thing is to be sure of what you want.
“I think my advice would be, be sure of what you want to do, but don’t be afraid to risk a little bit. In a sense that if nothing is guaranteed when you first come to Carleton, don’t let that shy you away from what could be. If you come here, and you work hard, and you are a genuinely good person, and have a good character to you, you will probably succeed,” Monk said.
Monk remarked on a phrase that head coach Kwesi Loney has instilled in the team.
“Loney always says, when you’re leaving something, you treat it like a business, you want to leave the thing better off than what it was when you started, and I think Tristan, Jared Maloney and I definitely did that.”