He’s a mild-mannered Newburyport High School student who becomes a pit bull in the net.
Shudee Wu has never had it easy getting to the No. 1 goalie position for the Port boys soccer team. For the past two years, the job has been taken by predecessor and co-captain Matt Canning. And once Wu became a senior, the job seemed to be going to heir apparent sophomore Andrew Allman. But Allman suffered a back injury a week before the season was to begin, and suddenly it was Wu time against North Reading on the Clippers’ opening day.
“He stepped up,” Clippers coach Shawn Bleau said of Wu last Wednesday. “I expected him to be solid and ready. I didn’t expect him to be exceptional.”
In fact, Bleau called Wu’s 15 saves against the Hornets one of the five best performances he has seen in net.
“He controlled his box and that is his strong point,” said Bleau. “He took away eight, nine dangerous plays just by coming off his line and grabbing those balls. It makes you nervous as a coach. But he did what he had to protect his goal. I don’t think I’ve seen a game where goalies come out that much and he did an excellent job of it.”
Wu was everywhere, popping out of his net almost as much as he was in it and making spectacular stops, play after play.
“It’s what I expected to do and what I want to do,” said Wu. “I want to be able to do my job out there and translate my aggressiveness from practice into a game and (against North Reading) was the first time that everything came together for that to happen.”
Both Wu and Allman worked with soccer goalie and coach Rick Heartquist over the summer and Heartquist stressed aggressiveness.