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International Opportunities for SDA Goalkeeper

Catherine Apker from our girls 2005 team has become an SDA ODP poster child for her hard work and talent as a goalkeeper. Catherine has had the opportunity to play internationally through her ODP team. She competed in Iceland last April and recently learned that she has been selected to play in the US Youth Soccer ODP National Girls event in Amsterdam this coming April. Catherine first made the New York West State Tournament team from where she was invited to the East Regional Team. Catherine is so grateful for all the opportunities SDA has brought her!

Catherine is a Freshman at Homer High School where she plays goalkeeper for their Varsity team. She has been playing soccer since she was 5 and she is going on her fourth year with SDA. In an interview, Catherine said, “I have really enjoyed playing for SDA. Coach Janine Bennett and Bill Stanbro are great to work with and have taught me so much… Coach Stanbro has helped me with so many aspects of the game. It’s not just about stopping shots. He is teaching me how to read the field, how to communicate, and how to be mentally strong. Every time we work together, I am either learning something new or taking a skill to the next level.”

Catherine got started with ODP within the first year of joining SDA as a U12. Catherines SDA coaches pushed her to try out. As a U12, Catherine tried out and made the indoor and outdoor ODP training team. The next year, Catherine tried out for the New York West ODP team and did not make the team. She did not let that stop her from returning to tryouts the following year, where she was selected for the team. From there, Catherine has gone onto play on the East Regional Team. She played with this team in Boca Raton and from there, she was selected for the ODP National Team roster.

Catherine’s favorite part of the game is “seeing it all in front of me and having to be focused mentally to organize the defense. I love that soccer is just as much mental as it is physical.” When asked what her favorite part of SDA is, she responded with, “I have three older brothers, so it’s really special to get to be on this team and have a whole crew of sisters.”

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