New Mexico Lobo goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu unfurled his 6’4” frame to snatch a Cal State Bakersfield cross. He saw the clock indicate just 30 seconds left in double overtime in a 1-1 game. Beaulieu hammered a punt to the heavens and it dropped serendipitously for teammate Niko Hansen in the opposing penalty area to slot home a match-winner. And that’s how Beaulieu recorded an assist while playing goalkeeper.
“You don’t want to rely on that to win games, but it worked out that time,” Beaulieu said.
If that wasn’t enough to leave a Lobo legacy, he is actually already in the UNM record book having recorded a 484:58-minute scoreless streak. That’s good for 5th longest in Lobo men’s soccer history. Beaulieu can’t tell you much about the streak itself but he knows the excruciating details of how it concluded via a UC-Irvine corner kick.
“I remember the goal that broke it,” he said. “It was a corner kick, too far off my line, a sloppy goal, a bad way to end the streak.”
The Montreal area native actually got his start in goal at age 11 on a rainy day when the expected goalie didn’t show up for the first game. He slipped on some well used old goalie gloves and loved his new role. He impressed in tryouts and spent a good portion of his teenage years playing for elite FC Boisbriand. That team won 13 straight tournaments at one point, and Beaulieu was part of five of them. They won the best league in the Quebec Province for three straight seasons.
Being a Canadian he of course played a lot of hockey as a kid with his friends. He was invited to play hockey but it conflicted with a soccer tournament and soccer won out.
Beaulieu eventually spent four seasons with the Montreal Impact. He was offered a USL spot with the Impact, but playing for the academy meant he couldn’t pursue a college degree right away.
That’s where NCAA soccer could fulfill both. Beaulieu sent a video and a resume out to multiple NCAA schools and UNM replied late in the process. The U23 level and NCAA are similar levels of soccer so college wasn’t a step back for technical development for Beaulieu.
His only previous time in the US was in soccer exhibitions in New England and New York. The Southwest was a different climate for Beaulieu in every sense of the term. For starters, French is his native language and despite a bilingual mother, his English was a work in progress. But he loves the region.
The soccer transition was a bit smoother. After playing in 11 games his freshman season (10 starts), Beaulieu has started all 40 games for New Mexico his last two seasons. He has a .88 Goals Against Average and a .780 save percentage.
Beaulieu is preparing for his final season at UNM. Afterwards he will see if any professional soccer opportunities in USL or MLS are available.
“My childhood dream has been to play professionally for the Montreal Impact,” Beaulieu said. “I really want to do that now and the dream is a couple months away.”
Beaulieu will graduate from UNM in December with a degree in civil engineering. He’s logging a busy summer splitting time with the Sol and an internship with Bohannan Huston Inc., a renowned local civil engineering firm. He occasionally has to work late nights and adjust his time with the Sol to accommodate the workload.
“I’m learning a lot everyday, it’s really helped me a lot,” Beaulieu said. “I’ve worked on over 20 different projects all around Albuquerque with different schedules, specifications including grading and utilities.”
Civil engineering is a sensible alternative career path for Beaulieu, who enjoys problem solving. In fact, engineering is in his blood thanks to his Grandfather Peter who was an engineer. As a kid he built model airplanes and cars. One high school project involved fashioning a small boat of some kind. Its durability was tested in the school pool by the addition of small weights. Beaulieu’s team combined some plastic ice cream containers and contest administrators ran out of weights, unable to sink the good ship ice cream. As far as he knows, they still hold that record.
But before professional soccer or engineering come calling in 2018, Beaulieu has some work to do in Albuquerque. He’s already notched an assist for the Lobos so perhaps he can top that this fall with a goal.