Jeremy Jessup has always had a nose for the soccer ball. Twice, he registered 14-shutout seasons at Lockport High School, a program record, and graduated in 2004 as the school’s all-time leader with 29 shutouts.

Making his debut with Queen City Football Club on Friday night, Jessup, 21, left the goalkeeper’s box to challenge for a ball overhead, and wound up with a broken nose.

“I didn’t even realize it was broken,” Jessup said Wednesday. “I thought it was just a bloody nose.”

Brendan Murphy, a teammate of Jessup’s on the National Premier Soccer League expansion team, wasn’t as optimistic.

“His nose was completely crooked,” Murphy said. “It was gross. But he just put some gauze on it and went right back in.”

Jessup finished the first half of the Blues’ eventual 1-1 tie with Atlantic City, and was back on the field at J.B. Wiley Stadium (otherwise known as “The Rockpile”) for Queen City’s 5-0 win over Real Shore FC. After Sunday’s game, the team doctor informed Jessup that his nose was broken and needed to be reset.

It wasn’t the first, or the worst, facial injury Jessup has endured. During his freshman season at George Mason University, Jessup took a kick to the face that broke bones in his sinus cavity, gave him a major concussion and opened a cut that required more than 30 stitches.

Though that injury was far more serious, Jessup said getting his nose reset this week was more painful.

“The good thing about that (previous) injury was that when they were doing all that patch-up work, I was still completely out of it from the concussion,” he said. “When they reset my nose, I was fully aware. It’s not fun. Eight shots of local anesthetic to numb it all, two of them went right into the break.”

Jessup said he hasn’t yet ruled out playing Friday night when Queen City hosts Boston.

“The doctor says it takes four weeks to completely reset the nose,” he said. “By that time, the season would be over. Right now, any little hit could move it. I think I might just take a week or two to get it set and try to get back out there.”

Murphy, who was working out at the University at Buffalo four mornings a week with Jessup, hopes the Blues can get their top goalkeeper back soon.

“Jeremy kept us in the game on Friday,” Murphy said. “He’s little (5-foot-10) but he’s consistent. And he’s tough.”

Jessup, who was twice named first-team All-Western New York and was a first-team all-state selection as a senior, redshirted his first season at George Mason, started four games before sustaining a leg injury the next season, but didn’t get off the bench much last season.

“It was a hard season for me, but I’m opt I have two years of eligibility left,” he said. “The coaches are happy that I’m up here playing.”

Jessup said if it wasn’t for Queen City, he likely would have played for one of three Premier Development League sides in Virginia. Murphy, who knows Jessup from instructing together at the Buffalo State Goalkeepers Camp, recruited him to help restart men’s soccer in WNY.

Jessup said he’d play, on one condition.

“I had to make sure my parents wanted me back.”

Contact reporter Jonah Bronstein at 282-2311, ext. 2258 or

If you go

• WHAT: Queen City Blues vs. Boston Aztecs, National Premier Soccer League Northeast conference game

• WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday

• WHERE: J.B. Wiley Stadium, 1100 Jefferson Ave., Buffalo

• MORE INFO: $2 admission for children wearing youth soccer jerseys

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