Keeping it safe: Sophomore goalie duo dominates

By Michael Tierney, Business Manager

Despite losing their starting senior goalie before the season due to an injury, the girls’ varsity soccer team managed to attain a 12-3-2 record and is looking to compete for the state championship. While every player made an important contribution to the team, this season of success can be most directly attributed to a duo of sophomore goalies stepping up and performing remarkably well.

Senior Heidi Amin, set to start as a goalkeeper for the Pioneers this fall, broke a finger during preseason and has been in the recovery process for the majority of the season. As a result of this incident, coach Ben Wilson called up two sophomore goalies, Greta Steege and Katie Klaiber, to fill in for Heidi’s absence. Wilson has alternated Steege and Klaiber at goalie throughout the season and they have not disappointed. Capitalizing on their playing time, they are pioneering the team’s successful season, having allowed only 16 goals in including six shutouts.

“Playing goalie on varsity opened up an opportunity for me to go and take (Amin’s) spot. She was on varsity last year and I was on JV, so it gave me a segue onto the team,” Steege said.

Amin has served as a mentor for the sophomores and played a major part in their development as goalkeepers. Klaiber especially saw a benefit in working with her injured teammate.

“With Heidi’s advice and guidance, she helped us to adjust and adapt to the new field and tougher opponents,” Klaiber said. “I owe a lot to Heidi; she (is) a great role model for the both of us.”

Although Steege and Klaiber have eight and six years of experience as a goalie respectively, they both had a large adjustment to playing at the varsity level. Transitioning from JV to varsity at such an unexpected pace, both girls were forced to adapt to the faster pace of the game.

“It was a bit hard in the first game: I was a bit nervous, but eventually I settled into a routine, found my rhythm and I’ve (gotten) used to it,” Steege said. “You just have to bounce back from mistakes — can’t let it get in your head — and your teammates will be there to support you through it all.”

Both sophomore goalies are grateful for this opportunity and believe it has significantly helped them enhance their athletic prowess. Practicing every day at the varsity level has improved their game a great amount, and Wilson is proud of how they have performed. He is optimistic about the future of the team and believes that Steege and Klaiber will be strong assets to the squad in upcoming years.

“They both stepped up really well,” Wilson said. “Greta and Katie are always neck-and-neck with each other, and they’ll be duking it out the next couple of years. Having two sophomores to be consistent for us the next couple of years is a big, big advantage for us.” 

Michael Tierney can be reached at [email protected]