Girls’ Soccer Struggles To Find Starting Goalie


Peach Schilling

Nona Wolfgramm warming up to start in goal for Highland’s season opener.

Peach Schilling, Associate Editor

A ship without a captain may be able to sail, but it won’t take long for it to become lost with nowhere to go. The same goes for a soccer team. A group of people on the field may be able to work together, but without a goalie, they will soon come to the point where they will not be able to continue to play successfully.
The Highland’s girls soccer team has entered the season with struggles to find a varsity goalie and the problem has already cost them an average of six goals per game this season. Last year, the team’s keepers, Summer Garn and Marlena Ruhling graduated and left big gloves to fill.
Head coach, Chris Madsen asked both Grace Humbert and Nona Wolfgramm to step in this year and play in goal.
“A keeper needs to be resilient and bounce back fast when the team gets scored on,” Madsen said. “Nona and Grace both showed desire to play in goal, which is another valuable trait of a keeper.”
Humbert and Wolfgramm have both been playing the sport since a very young age. As a sophomore this year, Humbert was expected to play varsity after playing junior varsity as a freshman.
“Last year, Chris was training me to be varsity goalie,” Humbert said. “This year he was expecting more freshmen and sophomores to come in as goalies, but there was no one.”
As Humbert was now expected to play goalie in both freshmen/sophomore games and in varsity games, there was a struggle to find another varsity keeper. Wolfgramm was the answer.
“I’ve always played in the field. I’ve always been a defender or a midfielder,” Wolfgramm said. “This year, Chris asked me to play [keeper] so I hopped in.”
Being a goalkeeper is perhaps the most important job on the soccer field. They don’t run up and down the field, but they have to watch every second of the game as the ball is kicked from player to player. And they have all the power to save the ball from hitting the net in the back of the goal.
Goalkeepers are positioned in a spot where the ball is intentionally aimed right at their faces, which is nothing short of stressful.
“When I get scored on, I feel like I let the team down,” Wolfgramm said. “I know the ball has to go through everyone to get all the way down to me, but it’s hard.”
As younger players come into the program, the coaches and team members are hoping that more goal keepers will be trained for upcoming seasons.
Both Wolfgramm and Humbert continue to train hard and work for their wins. As the team’s season is in full force, everyone is focused on working together and being confident about their game play.