Goalie Lindsey Walter will “take a kick to the face for her team”

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Photo courtesy Lindsey Walter

Lindsey Walter blocks the ball at a soccer match.

At the age of two, sophomore Lindsey Walter was already running to kick the ball into goal. Flash forward 13 years later, she now rules over the goal, not letting any injury stop her from keeping that ball out.

Walter first played goalkeeper when she was seven after her team’s goalkeeper was absent. Due to Walter’s shorter stature of five feet and one inch, covering an eight foot by eight yard goal was a challenge. “People think it’s the easiest position when there are techniques since I am short. I have to work hard to make up for the lost height meaning my short sprints have to be perfect with high jumps and punting goal kicks too,” Walter said.

Playing goalie comes with a price, leaving Walter with a list of injuries that she received during games, especially as the only goalkeeper on her travel team with no backup. Even with a backup in junior varsity in her freshman year, in the first game of the season, Walter bruised her ribs and sternum, making it difficult to breathe. But that didn’t stop her from playing.

Walter’s wrists specifically are susceptible to injuries since diving and hand blocking can be straining. Walter sprained her wrists three times leaving each sprain three months to heal. “My wrists grew incorrectly, as the bones grew at the wrong lengths, specifically the ulna, so I have to wrap my hands whenever I play,” Walter said.

As the only goalkeeper on her travel team, during a game, one of the opposing team players kicked Walter in the calf to stop Walter from playing. Walter’s calf was left greatly bruised, preventing her from trying out for the Robert Frost team in eighth grade, and it ended up taking six weeks to heal.

Walter has four practices each week, totaling seven hours, excluding games. Even with so much practice, Walter does muscle training and goalkeeper sessions to keep her game performance pristine. “She isn’t the tallest person so whenever she makes a crazy save with wide shots and high shots it’s extremely impressive. Also knowing her for so long I’ve seen the improvement of her saves and her progress has just been amazing,” Walter’s teammate, Anya Sander, said.

Walter’s dedication is not only in regards to her sport, but her to teammates too when certain referees are tough toward her team. One game, in particular, left five of Walter’s teammates injured badly and out of the game due to a violent opposing player who had a history with Walter’s team; the same player who had kicked Walter in the calf. The referee gave the player a yellow card after the fifth player was hurt.

Lindsey’s a reliable teammate and will quite literally take a kick to the face for her team.”

— Waverly Nakashima

Even though referees hold a significant amount of power during games, Walter protested against the referee. “Lindsey’s a reliable teammate and will quite literally take a kick to the face for her team,” Walter’s friend Waverly Nakashima said.