Story by Mark McFarland, Sports Editor
Alex Steigerwald, sophomore goalkeeper, was thrown into the fire her freshman season to fill in for an injured Shelby Haworth, junior from Hilliard, Ohio.
Steigerwald played in 13 games during her freshman season, starting in 11 of those games. She finished the 2015 season with 64 saves and a .64 goals against average to cap off her freshman campaign. Steigerwald said last season was world opener, but she still has some more learning to do.
“I feel like with any new team you join, especially as a young kid just getting that experience at first is always intimidating,” she said. “It’s a new level of competition that I faced in high school to college was just insane, but each game I got under my belt made me feel that much better about myself.”
Head Coach Jeremy Groves said he has seen Steigerwald grow since the season ended last fall.
“She went away this summer and played on a very good summer team in Dayton,” he said. “And they won their conference and did a bunch of things. Their coach is very happy with what she did. I think it’s very good that she got more experience.”
Steigerwald said she had a great time this summer getting to train with coaches who really helped her focus more on the little things in her game.
“I actually got to play in a summer league pretty close to home,” she said. “I got to train with a good coaching staff and had a keeper trainer. We got work on to continue doing what I have been working on here. There was another goalie, so we kind of had the advantage of specific type training for us.”
Steigerwald has already posted one shutout this season following her five shutouts last season. Along with her low goals against average she posted a 89 percent save percentage last season and said earning shutouts gives her more momentum for the season.
“That’s huge, that’s just icing on the cake,” she said. “Obviously it’s a whole collective, team effort. You know, with the defense that we have and just the way they are, I feel so solid behind them.