Declan Domyan, the starting goalkeeper for the Mountain Lions men’s soccer team, made 68 saves in 19 appearances this, including a career-high 11 in-game saves.
Domyan has swept up multiple awards including RMAC Goalkeeper of the Week, an All-Conference selection and an All South-Central selection this season, his first with UCCS. He leads the conference in all three major goalkeeper categories, including total saves, save percentage and goals allowed.
UCCS’ men’s soccer season ended after they were knocked out of the RMAC semifinal match on a 1-0 defeat by Colorado School of Mines. Despite the loss, this season was an electric one for Domyan.
“I’m happy of how we played [and the] team dynamic,” he said. “We faced good teams.”
The junior finance major started off his soccer career as a striker in a little league at 9 years old. Domyan said the goalkeeper fell ill on one of the days that they had a game and couldn’t play. Instead, the coach rotated players into the position and had them take turns guarding the goal. When the goalkeeping rotation got to Domyan, he played so well that his coach asked him if he wouldn’t mind keeping the position.
Domyan calls it a “happy accident” and is proud to have found his niche on the pitch.
Before his stint for the Mountain Lions, Domyan was a goalkeeper for Laramie County Community College, and he says that he made his favorite save at a penalty shootout against Marshalltown. He dove to the bottom right of the goalpost where the penalty taker shot the ball. Domyan swatted the ball out of the way to win the game and send his team on their first trip to nationals.
Domyan, a South African native, moved to the United States in 2019. As an African with some European heritage, he feels like his family has adapted and come to appreciate South African culture.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa, and Domyan was able to watch world-class athletes compete in his home country. His brother was even able to watch the World Cup final when Spain and Netherlands faced off.
“I saw Uruguay versus South Africa and Argentina versus Mexico in the group stage,” he said. “I saw Messi live.”
The 2022 FIFA World Cup is currently taking place in Qatar, and Domyan is actively rooting for Croatia, who are currently in the quarterfinals after upsetting tournament-favorite Brazil on Dec. 9.
Domyan has his eyes set on becoming a professional soccer player. He said that he hopes to be able to find a good balance as a student athlete. Switchbacks FC, the local Colorado Springs soccer team, is one option he is considering to further his soccer career.
Domyan is looking forward to next season; he aspires to take the team to the Division II national championship.