You can't win if you can't score, and St. Mary's of Lancaster boys soccer keeper Noah Winiarski has made life difficult for opposing offenses this season.
Just last week, the sophomore made 10 saves in a 2-1 win against Central Christian Baptist, another 10 saves in a 2-0 win at Niagara Catholic, and 30 (no, that's not a typo) more saves in a 1-0 win at Fredonia in the span of five days.
It was an impressive showing by Winiarski to help keep the defending Monsignor Martin High School Athletic Association small school champions undefeated on the season, and it was worthy of recognizing him as the Prep Talk Male Athlete of the Week.
Coach Al Franjoine on Winiarski: "Noah has been involved with youth hockey over 10 years. Most of the time it has been spent between the pipes, which has helped Noah develop catlike reflexes and the ability to read the opposition. In only his first year on the varsity team, Noah has stepped up to the challenge and his stats are amazing. With dedication to both sports and only being a sophomore, Noah has a great athletic future ahead, in both soccer and hockey. But to achieve the success he desires, Noah understands how much work he has to put in to achieve his goals of playing college hockey and soccer. With the number of shots he has saved, he has helped inspire his team to move forward and work towards the goal of an undefeated season."
How has your season gone so far?: Our team record is 9-0-2 so far (entering Tuesday). I have four shutouts on the season, seven goals against in 11 games and over 100 saves in 11 games.
Highlight of athletic career so far: Winning the starting goalkeeper position my first varsity season as a sophomore and the stats that I have recorded this season.
Favorite thing about my sport: The ability to be tight with my team and have such great teammates.
Favorite teammate: Nino Marino and Luke Szablewski because they are the top two scorers in the league and help us win our games.
Toughest opponent: Nichols. Their high-pressure offense versus our high press defense led to a 0-0 tie earlier in the year. I had 17 saves that day.
Pro/college athlete I admire now: Ryan Miller, the goalie for the Anaheim Ducks. When he played for the Sabres I looked up to him and pretty much became a goalkeeper because of him.
Favorite school subject: Social studies.
What’s ahead (athletics and/or academics): I'm a sophomore at the moment but I'm exploring college options and hopefully playing college hockey and/or soccer in the future.