Boys Soccer

Valparaiso goalkeeper Andrew Fletcher finally has time to shine

2013-09-11T17:52:00Z 2013-09-12T04:45:05Z Valparaiso goalkeeper Andrew Fletcher finally has time to shinePaul Oren Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
September 11, 2013 5:52 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Andrew Fletcher waited three years for his chance to shine for the Times No. 2 Valparaiso boys soccer team.

When his time finally arrived this season, Fletcher’s teammates let him know that they were ready for him.

Fletcher barely got off the bench in the first three years of his career, instead sitting behind star goalkeeper Ethan Lehnen. Now as a senior, and with just one year left at Valparaiso, his peers voted him as a team captain.

“I couldn’t believe that my teammates would show that kind of confidence in me,” Fletcher said. “Them doing that gave me all the confidence that I’ve needed to go out there and play for them.”

Longtime coach Danny Jeftich was touched by the gesture from Fletcher’s teammates, but he also knew that the honor was well-earned. Fletcher spent the last several years playing club soccer for Millennium Vardar and was prepared when practice started in the fall.

“He waited for his opportunity and when it finally came, he looked at me and said ‘Coach, I’m ready,’” Jeftich said. “Andrew is a player that wants to keep improving and he takes a ton of pride in his performance.”

That pride came through on Monday night when the Vikings improved to 4-0-1 on the season with an 8-2 win over Highland. While many of the players were celebrating impressive goals and slick assists, Fletcher was beating himself up over the two goals that slipped past him.

“I’m thinking about what I could’ve done to prevent those goals,” Fletcher said. “I’ll process what happened and then I’ll put them in the past. This is my one year to shine and I’m going to learn from every situation I’m in.”

It’s that kind of attitude that gave the Vikings all the faith they needed in their keeper. Two-year captain Luke Kovar knew Valparaiso wouldn’t miss a beat by having Fletcher between the pipes. Until Tuesday’s match, Fletcher had surrendered just one goal through the first four matches.

“We have a lot of respect for Andrew for what he’s gone through to get to this point,” Kovar said. “Everyone knew before the season started what to expect from him. We had the confidence and he deserves the honor of being a captain.”

Fletcher wants to play soccer in college, but those plans will wait until after the season ends. He is aiming for another Duneland Athletic Conference title and a shot to eclipse last season’s run to semistate.

“We’re very confident in Andrew’s abilities,” Jeftich said. “If he stays healthy, we can go a long way.”

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Which school has the area's best girls cross country team?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News