Cal Lutheran goalkeeper David Salzwedel wears a green jersey when tending the net for the Kingsmen. But there is little else about the freshman's game that is green.
Salzwedel held Master's College scoreless for his ninth shutout of the year Wednesday as Cal Lutheran improved its postseason chances with a 3-0 victory.
"And to think he wasn't really recruited by anybody," Coach Gary Jensen said. "I've got him for the next three years."
The Kingsmen (12-3-1) kept alive their chances of being selected as one of four District 3 teams advancing to National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics playoffs in November.
Salzwedel, with four saves, continued in his role as the Kingsmen's savior--this time with ample support from the offense. Of Cal Lutheran's three losses this year, two were by 1-0 margins.
The freshman goalkeeper is part of a nucleus of players Jensen hopes will lead Cal Lutheran for several seasons to come. After years of being kicked around, including a 5-13-2 record last season, Jensen thinks the Kingsmen have come of age--despite an apparent lack of it.
"We are young and we are rebuilding," Jensen said. "We started this season with a bang, then fell back a bit. But we're back on track now."
Leading the way are six freshman starters who have surpassed Jensen's expectations.
Against Master's (4-12-1), freshman Jeff Dietrich scored what proved to be the game-winner on a 30-foot lob over Mustang goalkeeper Allen Bowden. That accounted for the Cal Lutheran offense in the first half, much to Jensen's chagrin.
"Even though we are winning, we haven't been especially consistent this year," Jensen said. "Maybe it's because we are so young. Today we seemed to play the first 10 minutes very well, but then the offense disappeared the rest of the half."
The offense reappeared in the second half, as the Kingsmen kept the ball in front of the Mustang goal most of the time. After several scoring opportunities were missed, Cal Lutheran sophomore Grant Elliott scored on a deflection off Bowden. Senior Robert Marti added another goal seconds later to put the game out of reach.