Sverre Wegge Gundhus is listed on the St. John’s men’s soccer team’s official roster as ?a midfielder/forward, one of only two players on the roster to have two positions next to his name.
But it isn’t really a clear indication of his role with the Red Storm.
“I’ve been playing everywhere this year,” he said. “Right-back, center-back, right-mid, left-mid, center-mid.”
Add forward to that list and Wegge Gundhus has played almost every position on the pitch.
“It’s fantastic,” said head coach Dave Masur of Wegge Gundhus’ versatility. “He played a little midfield, played up front [Saturday]. He played up front last year. Sverre was a midfielder when he came in and we’ve had other great midfielders who have had to play in the back and had to play up front and do different roles. Sverre embraces that and does well.”
The versatility comes with responsibility. Wegge Gundhus has to prepare for three position sets before every game.
“When I get to the field and [Masur] tells me go at right back it’s not a big challenge because I kind of know already,” he said. “Before every game I get three sheets. I get the defender’s sheet, the midfield sheet and the forward sheet. The goalkeeper’s sheet is the only one I don’t get.”
Wegge Gundhus led the team last year with five goals, eight assists and 18 points ?playing mostly as a forward, but he had been playing mostly in the back four at the beginning of the season.
That changed three weeks ago. With the team sitting at the bottom of the Big East standings with a 0-3 conference record, Masur made a few changes in his lineup, most notably putting Wegge Gundhus at forward and moving senior John Tardy from forward to defender.
St. John’s hasn’t lost since.
“Personally I think Sverre can play up top,” said senior midfielder Tadeu Terra. “He can hold the ball for us and allow our defense and midfielders and all our other players to go forward.”
Terra is no stranger to being moved around himself. In his career, he has played right back, multiple midfield positions and forward.
“You just gotta prepare yourself for every game,” said Terra. “Coach Masur, [assistant coach] Jeff [Matteo], [assistant coach Ben] Mallue, they give us all the tools. If you prepare yourself, no matter where you play you should be ready to go.”
Masur downplayed the difficulty of playing multiple positions.
“I don’t think there’s any challenge really,” he said. “I think it’s pretty simple. The roles are pretty interchangeable. We play a pretty free-flowing system and our guys understand that. We play a lot in training with different restrictions and different variables. Guys get chances to play in different spots. They understand it and they’re pretty mature about knowing what they need to do.”
For his part, Wegge Gundhus insists that it doesn’t matter where he plays as long as he’s helping the team.
“To be honest, I feel comfortable in every position I play,” he said. “It’s been going well for me as long as I can contribute and as long as Coach thinks I can contribute.”