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Tom Mix, Published October 10 2012

Goalkeepers provide lift for area teams

West Fargo

West Fargo junior goalkeeper Nathan Sample has started in net for 17 of the Packers’ 18 matches this fall.

He has proven to be durable in his first full season as a starter, but today will mark his first match between the posts at the state tournament.

The Packers (13-3-2) play Minot (12-4-2) during the quarterfinals, set for 7 p.m. at Fargo Shanley’s Sid Cichy Stadium.

Sample, who recorded 90-plus saves this season, is one of three metro goalkeepers – the other two being Fargo South senior Carter Schweitzer and Fargo Shanley senior Ben Glogoza – that have had standout seasons and will be looking to help their teams to a deep run in the tournament.

West Fargo has posted 10 shutouts on Sample’s watch. Sample said he has enjoyed starting the bulk of the Packers’ schedule and has made the most of the opportunity after being a backup the previous two seasons behind all-state keeper Braden Schmidt as a freshman and Ryder Neva as a sophomore.

His lack of experience at state is not intimidating him either.

“You know every team is going to get their chances, but you got to keep on your toes and keep communicating with everyone,” Sample said. “There is a little bit of pressure, but you just have to go with the flow.”

Sample’s stellar play in the regular season was something Packers head coach Doug Millar admitted surprised him.

“I think he absorbed a lot from playing behind Braden and Ryder,” Millar said. “He has been solid. When he does let a goal in it does not faze him … He puts himself in good positions and can also play aggressive. He isn’t afraid to come out on a ball that might be a 50/50.”

Glogoza and Schweitzer are state tournament veterans. Glogoza will be starting at goalkeeper when Shanley plays Bismarck St. Mary’s at 1 p.m. and Schweitzer will get the call when South plays Bismarck at 3 p.m.

The 6-foot-5 Glogoza has been the Deacons’ starting goalkeeper for four years and saw some varsity action as an eighth grader during Shanley’s 2008 state championship run.

“Ben has great physical stature,” Shanley head coach Michael Breker said. “He has excellent size and range. You know he is always going to be there and anything inside the six-yard box he is going to smother.”

After a 0-1-1 start, the Deacons have cruised to 14 consecutive wins and like the previous three season, Glogoza has been there every step of the way.

Glogoza said the experience from previous seasons has helped, but always holds one lesson above the rest in importance.

“You got to forget the mistakes you making a match,” Glogoza said. “If you mess up you got to forget it right away and move on.”

Schweitzer, who has been the Bruins starting goalkeeper for two seasons, can’t forget the way the Bruins’ season ended a year ago – a 2-0 loss to the Demons.

“We lost our first match to Bismarck last year, so hopefully it is going to be a revenge game,” Schweitzer said.

Schweitzer had a 0.90 goals against average this season and posted three shutouts.

He said goalkeeping is very important in the postseason and there will be a lot of pressure to improve on last year’s finish.

“We need to communicate better with each other,” Schweitzer said. “If we do that and come mentally prepared we will do great.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562