Gary Boughton: “The group of people that are a part of that have such a rich history within the Lancers. I’m definitely grateful to be in that company.” (Photo courtesy of the Lancers)
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — When asked about his most memorable moment as a Rochester Lancer, midfielder Gary Boughton admitted that he did not have one that stood out.
Actually, it was many moments.
“You hear your name get called out to run out of the tunnel onto the field and that moment is special every single time,” Boughton said. “That never gets old. You hear your name and the fans cheering and supporting. The collective of that moment would be my favorite.”
A member of the 2011-12 team that started the franchise’s indoor run, Boughton will be honored for his performance, passion and production as he will be inducted into the Lancers’ Wall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 31. The Buffalo, N.Y. native will be among 20 individuals who will be honored by the Major Arena Soccer League team prior to the game with the Baltimore Blast.
“I’m definitely and incredibly honored, grateful and humbled by it,” Boughton said. “The group of people that are a part of that have such a rich history within the Lancers. I’m definitely grateful to be in that company.”
Some of the inductees might say the same thing about the 31-year-Boughton, a tireless worker. He played for the team through the Major Indoor Soccer League seasons and to the MASL, from 2011 to 2015. After Rochester took a hiatus, he returned to the club when it competed in MASL2 during the 2018-19 campaign.
“He was really young back nine years ago,” Lancers head coach Doug Miller said. “Now he’s one of the old guys on the team and a veteran that continues to sharpen his craft. But now more importantly, giving it back coaching in the college world. And he’s a character guy and character soccer player.”
If you want to get technical, Boughton has enjoyed several memorable moments on the field – especially when he has scored a short-handed goal.
“Some of the short-handed goals when I was a bit younger were always huge moments for the team and for the crowd,” he said.
Boughton looked at killing off penalties and short-handed goals as momentum changers.
“It’s just the challenge, the competitive drive that every athlete has,” he said. “But to go out there and have one less player on the field and be short-handed and under matched as everybody would see it and go out there and score a goal shorthanded or just kill off the penalty, there’s just a huge sense of pride that goes into it. You look across at the other team, ‘Hey, I know you have every advantage right now, but we’re not going to let you beat in us these two minutes.’ There’s nothing like that. It’s just saying, ‘Hey, not today’ to the other team.’ ”
Boughton and the other inductees will be honored prior to the 7 p.m. game before he and his teammates get down to business.
“It’ll be one of those things where you go through the honor before the match,” he said. “You try to take it in a little bit, but will you’ve got to focus on the task at hand, and that’s the game.”
Let’s face it. Not too many players are inducted into a Wall or Hall of Fame when they are still active. This season is Boughton’s final as a professional.
“It is definitely different in that regard,” he said. “I hadn’t really thought too much about that. I was really thinking it’s my last season and it’s a nice touch beyond this year. To be honored still being part of the team, it’s a cool little touch.”
The Wall of Fame induction ceremonies will be part of memorable night and Rochester soccer fans won’t want to miss the pre-game activities. You can buy your tickets now at RLancers.com or at the Dome Arena on game day.
The Lancers will play two home games that weekend as they will host the St. Louis Ambush at the Dome Arena on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.