Goalkeeper Corey Goelz (pronounced gellz, not goalz) PO ’17 is rarely seen without a big, toothy grin on her face. That smile may have been wiped off two years ago when she was forced to sit out after a season-ending elbow injury two games into her sophomore season, but the Mercer Island, Washington, native bounced back last year and is currently leading her squad as one of seven seniors on the Pomona-Pitzer soccer team (12-1-2, 10-0-2 SCIAC).
This season, with the team on track to win the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and ranked No. 3 in the West Region, Goelz has a lot to be happy about.
The Sagehens have put together an eight-game win streak since Sept. 28, with their most recent win over University of Redlands on Wednesday, Oct. 27. SCIAC teams have been unable to penetrate P-P’s stellar defense, supported by Goelz at goal, thus creating an eight-game shutout streak as well.
“Our defense has been incredible all year and that comes from team defense all over the field,” Goelz said. “Heading into this season, we wanted to take extra pride in playing our home field in particular and we weren’t scored on at home during the regular season, so that’s a huge accomplishment for us. Our defense has been a huge part of our success.”
On the season, Goelz has recorded six shutouts, made 11 starts out of 14 games, and leads the SCIAC in all but one of goalkeeping's statistics. In honor of tying for first place in Division III for her impeccable 0.958 save percentage, Goelz was honored as the SCIAC Athlete of the Week for the week of Oct. 17, her first such honor. After the Sagehens' most recent win, Goelz now leads all of Division III with a 0.964 save percentage.
Goalkeeping is no easy task, and, to some spectators, a scored goal can appear to be the fault of the keeper. Especially true for Goelz, when the ball actually is on her half of the field, is that this position requires her to communicate to the defenders and be the eyes as the most back line in the defense.
“Sometimes, the hardest part of the game is the warm-up because it’s so tiring, but during the game, you can be doing nothing and then have the game in your hands all of a sudden,” Goelz said.
Besides her sophomore season, Goelz has consistently improved her game every year and gotten more comfortable in her position. Freshman year, she boasted a 0.763 save percentage, eighth in SCIAC, and junior year, a 0.776 save percentage, sixth in SCIAC.
As Goelz notes, “Our goal this season is to win first place in the SCIAC regular season. Our senior class has made the playoffs every year we’ve been here, but never actually gotten first place in the regular season.”
Off of the pitch, Goelz majors in public policy analysis and economics, works for Admissions as a tour guide, and studied abroad last spring in Freiburg, Germany. She excels in the classroom and has been named to the SCIAC All-Academic Team the past two seasons. However, looking back at her time at Pomona College, Goelz notes being part of this team has made her experience especially worthwhile and irreplaceable. That and, not to mention, beating Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (13-5-1, 10-2-1 SCIAC), currently second in SCIAC.
“My fondest memories have been the CMS games,” Goelz said. “Beating CMS in overtime a couple of weeks ago and storming the field after Agueda [Dudley-Berrios PO '17]’s golden goal was really fun.”
Buying into the team’s motto “our best game,” Goelz and the Sagehens plan to continue this success into the final run of the season, beginning with their last regular season game at University of La Verne (3-14, 2-11 SCIAC) Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m.
“We try to focus on ourselves and play our best game, and trust that the results will take care of themselves from there.”