The men’s soccer goalie, Zeke Foltz, was recently named the GPAC Defensive Player of the Week. After two games, he still had not allowed a single ball to enter the goal.
The sophomore from Sioux Center saw his first game against Missouri Baptist University and made eight total saves. His shutout was a great way to begin the 2020 season, and it did not end there.
In the second game of the year, Foltz returned to his hometown to take on the Dordt University Defenders. The game was sent into double overtime, and Northwestern eventually came out on top thanks to three saves from Foltz in 107 minutes of playing time.
This second shutout meant that Foltz had a perfect record thus far. Since Sept. 15, the stats have changed, but they are still impressive. Foltz has made 22 saves this year, adding seven against Briar Cliff University and four against Concordia University. Both matches added to the other 11 saves he had under his belt.
He is currently at a 71% save percentage on the season, which puts him third in the GPAC for saves per game, averaging 5.5.
During the games, Foltz can be heard talking to each player about where the ball is and where the other team’s key players are. When the Raiders are on offense, Foltz is shouting words of encouragement to every single player on his team.
All of this success on the field is not something that Foltz just happened upon one day. One thing that helps is to have a ritual, and Foltz does. Every night before games, Foltz can be found in Le Mars at La Juanita’s.
Rituals aside, he said that the team understands “Every day you have to play or practice like it is the last game or practice of the year.”
The spring season was cancelled due to COVID-19, but that did not get in the way of soccer team’s vision for the 2020 fall season. Foltz is not alone in thinking, “With the proper mentality and hard work, we could shock the GPAC this year.”
The whole team is working hard to be better than they were pre-COVID.