Brotherhood is a unique bond that transcends most normal relationships. Brotherhood spans an intricate emotional spectrum that could see hate and love in the same hour. Jane Austen once said “What strange creatures brothers are!” Being a brother demands a level of accountability unseen anywhere else, because when you are brothers, you don’t let the other walk alone in the dark. Montclair State’s Lucas and Rafael Terci of the men’s soccer team are putting that bond to the test.
After playing six games together last year before older brother Lucas went out for the season with a concussion, the Terci brothers are now 10 games into their first full collegiate season together as full-time starters on the soccer team.
Lucas, a senior, and Rafael, a sophomore, whose brother refers to him as “Raf,” moved from Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1999 and grew up a few exits down the parkway from Montclair State in Union, New Jersey. There, they played one year of high school varsity soccer together before Lucas moved on to play at Montclair State. Now, after four years apart, the two have reunited with the goal of bringing a National Championship to Montclair State.
When asked about why they came to play at Montclair State, the two both joked, “We like it, but our dad likes it more.” Rafael later mentioned his father’s wishes to see the two play together as one of the main reasons he came to play at Montclair State, a clear display of how much they both value family.
Despite their shared genetics, the two do differ a bit on the field. When asked to describe his older brother, Rafael said, “He tries to play like Neymar. Seriously though, he is very quick, has long legs, and finishes chances.” Lucas spoke glowingly of Rafael in the inverse, saying, “He’s very fit, is a technical player who wins the ball and plays it out wide to Damian [Bziukiewicz] and I.” Their descriptions of each other are very accurate.
Lucas is a graceful attacking midfielder who currently leads the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) in scoring with 12 goals, and is confident and creative with the ball. Rafael is an indefatigable box-to-box central midfielder who finds himself involved in both the defensive and offensive sides of the game, using his considerable durability to cover a lot of ground. Together they make up a critical piece of the Red Hawks 9-2 soccer team.
In a recent 3-0 win against Moravian College, The Tercis scored all three goals, with Rafael finding the back of the net twice, and Lucas grabbing the other goal. “I like playing with him,” Lucas said. “Sometimes we speak Portuguese on the field. And he knows where I like the ball, and I know where he likes it.” This kind of sibling telepathy can give a team a distinct chemistry advantage.
When asked about the pressure of living up to his brother’s record-breaking standards, Rafael maturely responded, “[Lucas] does what he does for the team, not the records. He scores those goals because he wants to win a National Championship, not to break records. He has his role and I have mine.” The two consistently spoke of making it to a National Championship, while a lot of other players use code words like “deep run in the tournament” or “final four” to avoid seeming arrogant.
The Terci brothers spoke in such a frank manner about winning that championship they couldn’t help but convince doubters that they would. With the bar set as high as it gets, the Terci’s are making winning a family affair.