In his second career start, freshman goalkeeper Kyle Hertel recorded a shutout against Greenville College. Hertel blocked three shots in the 2-0 victory for the Gorloks.
Hertel was awarded SLIAC men’s soccer defensive player of the week for his performance against the Panthers.
Hertel came to Webster University from Standpoint, Idaho where he made varsity at his high school as a sophomore. He said his experience making varsity as a high school sophomore playing with seniors helped give him confidence behind the net.
“I play confidently in a game and don’t second guess myself,” Hertel said. “All of that experience carried me through high school and taken me to where I am now.
Midfielder Drew Quisenberry said Hertel is an aggressive and confident goalkeeper. Quisenberry also said Hertel knows when to come out of the net and when to stay back on the line.
“He’s done well,” Quisenberry said. “If he’s able to keep improving his skills, he has the ability to be one of the best keepers in our league.”
The men’s soccer team has five goalkeepers on its active roster this season. Head coach Mike Siener said it has been competitive and the other goalkeepers push each other to improve.
Hertel said his veteran teammates have been a huge help in adjusting to the collegiate level. He said he has developed a strong trust with them on and off the field.
Siener said Zach Horn has been key in helping the freshman goalkeepers in their development. Siener also said Hertel has been working on some things in practice to make him a more polished goalkeeper, but is already a very confident player.
“His ability to play ball in areas between the box,” Siener said. “I think commands the box really well. He’s vocal, works very hard, and he’s athletic.”
Hertel said he needs to work on adjusting to different cross balls and reading the cross at the collegiate level.
“I haven’t completely figured out how to use my aggressiveness for my advantage at all times,” Hertel said. “Crosses are huge in college, as is decision making. I’m working closely with my coaches to learn how I need to perform these tasks in practice.”
For his strengths, Hertel said his ability to not let mistakes get to him helps him move on to the next play.
“My athleticism along with this mindset helps me put everything I am and know into a game,” Hertel said. “I also feel that due to my time spent playing as a field player most of my life gives me an advantage with my feet, confidence, and understanding how the game flows.”
Hertel said the goal for his collegiate career is to help carry his team to the national tournament and to make his mark in Division III as a freshman.
“Traveling halfway across the country to go to college can be extremely difficult for a lot of people, but I am glad that I chose Webster for this adventure,” Hertel said.