Nathan Gaviser has been known as a soccer star in the town of Edgemont for years. Rumor has it, he has saved every shot he has faced as goalie, never letting one in the net. Just watching him play goalie, you would think he has superpowers. He has enjoyed tremendous success at the high school club soccer level, and he will continue his soccer career at Duke University for the next four years. He is joining a program that was ranked third in the nation last year, competing against the best players in the country. I was lucky enough to ask him a few questions about his journey.
How did you get into playing soccer? How did you get into playing goalie?
I feel like almost everyone starts playing soccer when they’re little, but I remember when I was pretty young, I used to go to my sister’s Rec soccer games. She’s three years older than me, and one day the coach asked me if I wanted to play with them. At that point, I was still too young to play on a real team, so I was so excited that I just jumped in. That’s pretty much my first memory of soccer in general. In terms of being a goalie, I was always just the biggest kid, so that’s how I started playing the position. But I ended up being pretty good, so I kind of just stuck with it and eventually I started to really love it.
Describe your worst sports moment and how you learned from it?
When I was in 7th grade, I was playing for an academy team a year older than me, and at the time, getting onto that team was my biggest achievement in soccer. In my first game, I played horribly and let in a crazy amount of goals. After that one game, they cut me. I was really upset at first, and I took it pretty hard. But after some time to sit with it, it taught me that the success I wanted in this sport wasn’t going to just appear, and I had to put my head down and get to work. After that, I started taking everything related to soccer a lot more seriously. I’m honestly not sure I would be the player I am today without that experience.
What are your pre-game rituals/routines?
One thing I almost always do is listen to the same playlist before every game. I’m not really superstitious, but I like having a routine to get me focused. The last song I listen to before putting my music away is also the same every time. In terms of on the field routines I put on everything the same way, like shin guards and socks and make them line up so they’re symmetrical. When I go to the goal to start the game, I start to kind of skip once I get into my box, I put my bottle on the right side of the goal, and then jump up to grab the crossbar and turn around. That’s pretty much it, and hopefully I have a good game.
Who is your favorite professional goalie to watch highlights of?
Thibaut Courtois has always been my favorite goalie because I’m a Chelsea fan, and he was their goalie when I started watching. I loved watching him play then and still now. He’s just really talented and one of the best in the world, so if I had to pick one player’s highlight reels to watch, it would be his.
What are you looking forward to most in your college soccer career?
The thing I’m looking forward to the most in my college career is just the environment of it all. There’s so much that will be available to me to help me get better, and the coaches seem like they really want to help their players succeed, which is amazing. So it’s all of that combined with competing at one of the highest levels and on a much bigger stage than anything I’ve done before that makes me really excited to start playing.
What’s one goal of your college soccer career?
I think for me, the main goal that I want to accomplish in my college career is to win a national championship. Honestly, nothing could be better than winning the NCAA championship with my teammates. Duke made a pretty deep run in the tournament this year, so I’m just hoping I have the chance during my four years to make a difference to help us get even further.