By: Brett Howery
It’s hard to move from Deluth, Minnesota, to St. Joseph, Missouri.
It’s harder to come into a soccer program as a freshman and start as a goalkeeper. Sophomore Anna Mayer did both of these feats, and has placed herself as one of the elite goalkeepers in the MIAA Conference thanks to her league-leading 35 saves.
The eight-hour drive is a long road to take when you’re leaving family and friends, but Mayer knew that she’d find more family at Missouri Western.
“One of the main reasons I chose Missouri Western was because it felt like family,” Mayer said. “And when I talked to Chad (Edwards), I knew that this was a family I wanted to be apart of.”
The family that Mayer is alluding to is the Missouri Western soccer team, a team that over the years has shown success after success under the tutelage of coach Chad Edwards. The soccer teams last losing record was 2013, Edwards third year at Missouri Western.
Edwards started recruiting Mayer three years before she arrived at Missouri Western, and he knew she was someone special.
“I saw her film, I saw her play and I knew she was someone I wanted on my team,” Edwards said. “Her work ethic is out of this world and she’s one of the most determined people I know.”
Most goalkeepers coming from high school to college have a rough transition and are redshirted their freshman year. Anna Mayer was an exception to that rule, and came out of the box hot.
Although Edwards had confidence in her and her abilities, Mayer wasn’t as confident in her early abilities.
“I remember feeling anxious and low confidence when I first started,” Mayer said. “It’s a rough transition and I feel like I knew I was ready, but still the confidence wasn’t high.”
Although the beginning of her career was rough for her confidence, Mayer’s faith is growing going into her second season.
“Every game I feel more confident,” Mayer said. “I can tell my voice is getting louder and my vocabulary is becoming more specific.”
Mayer started playing soccer when she was four years old and started goalkeeping when she was eight. She described the moment in which she fell in love with the game of soccer.
“I remember it was rec-league soccer, and we were losing 7-0,” Mayer said. “A girl took a shot, and it was a really good shot, and I dove for it. I missed, but I left my feet to dive for the ball for the first time. Even though I missed, I hit the ground, and I realized how much fun it was.”
Recently, Mayer was challenged by Edwards to be more vocal on the field, and Mayer has been trying hard to do so that she can improve her play.
Mayer came to Missouri Western as a biology major, but wants to switch to become a psychology major so she can go into sports psychology. She always wanted to do something with sports and that major leads directly into a profession she wants.
Even though she is a sophomore, her presence is being felt by both the Griffons and the teams that face them.