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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Throckmorton seizes opportunity given in senior season with Eagles

After spending three seasons with the team, goalkeeper Zander Throckmorton has shined through his first collegiate contests
Submitted by Zander Throckmorton
Throckmorton walks to the sideline after a contest in the 2021 season.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, Eagle goalkeeper Zander Throckmorton was thrust into the net as the starter for the team’s contest against one of the top teams in the country, the Mercyhurst Lakers.

For Throckmorton, the opportunity to be a starter in a varsity contest came out of left field after spending the prior three years as the backup keeper for the program.

“When I got the news, I could not stop smiling,” he said. “At the same time, though, it felt right, like I belonged in that spot.”

Against the Lakers, he excelled. In the 1-0 loss, he gave up just one goal coming in the 59th minute but was able to make five saves. Just one game later, he would once again be given the start. 

The Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC) season opener began at Ferguson Field for the Eagles. With bright lights beaming down on a brisk Wednesday evening, Throckmorton would be given the start for the second time in his college career.

“Of course, everyone wants there shot, but for me, I have always wanted what’s best for the team,” he said. “If Coach Nick Roberts believed that putting me in [the] net was the best thing for us, I was ready to perform at the highest level.”

He certainly did perform at the highest level as he led the team to a 3-0 win in the net against the Walsh Cavaliers. In that outing, he made four saves, one of which kept the sheet clean in the 17th minute. A breakaway opportunity for the Cavaliers presented itself after the Eagle defense turned the ball over.  With a head full of confidence, Throckmorton came off his line and made a phenomenal one-on-one save. 

“I always had belief in myself I just knew I had to keep working to get better and better so I was always ready for my opportunity when it was given,” he said.

The Eagles would go on to score two goals while allowing none in the conference opener, recording the teams first win and clean sheet of the season. 

“I am grateful for each and every opportunity I am granted,” he said. “Every game I go to play I see it as my last chance to keep my starting spot. Failure to perform is failure to keep my spot.”

Those two contests saw him receive playing time on the pitch for the first time in his collegiate career. In the 2020 and 2021 seasons he did not play, and in the 2022 season he spent his time playing for the junior varsity squad.

Before coming to college, he played high school ball at Highland High School where he was the starting goalkeeper. Since the age of five-years-old, he has been in love with the sport of soccer.

After graduating high school, he wanted to continue playing soccer while staying close to home, so he decided to walk on to the Ashland University team.

“I heard from a friend, Christian Heini, that the team only had one healthy goalkeeper,” he said. “So I decided to try out.”

Throughout his time with the program, his mind has been set on being given the opportunity to play for the varsity team, for which he finally obtained.

“It felt amazing. I had a goal I wanted to achieve, and it is exactly what I did,” he said. “Everyone I have crossed paths with has made an impact but my family is the biggest impact they have always been my biggest supporters.”

As his senior season continues to roll on, he reflected on his journey through his collegiate career. 

“My collegiate journey has been nothing less then amazing. I have met so many great people from all around the world,” said Throckmorton. “Being apart of a two conference championship teams is a great accomplishment because a lot of people don’t even get the chance to be a part of one.”

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