From UDM to Peru?

After being voted Horizon League Goalkeeper of the 2014 season and Defensive Player of the Year, Nathan Steinwascher, who is in the 5-year MBA program at UDM, is using his rightfully earned titles to propel him toward the next level – a shot at a professional career.

Many student-athletes who have come and gone in Titan uniforms have taken a shot at a professional career, but only a handful have succeeded.

It is not easy to gain professional attention when coming out of a school in the Horizon League, especially from one that has yet to capture the championship title.

Steinwascher, who still has another year of eligibility, won’t let this small detail affect his pursuit.

“I have wanted to play college soccer since I was very young and as these college years have gone by I realize that I do not want to ever stop playing soccer. I want to make my dream come true,” Steinwascher said.

Steinwascher, the team’s MVP this year, has been named captain of next year’s team. His work ethic and determination to be the best he can be has inspired his teammates to go the extra mile as well.

 “Nate always has a positive attitude around the team. Whether it is down in the weight room or on the field, he is always pushing us to keep going,” said outgoing senior captain Matt Ybarra. “He only wants what is best for us.”

After receiving such big accolades, many players either use them as an excuse to not work as hard for their next season or succumb to the pressure to have another big year.

Steinwascher plans to do the opposite.

“I think any successful year will add pressure on the next year for a player,” he said. “It is important to continue to excel. Although there is a lot of pressure on individuals, it will be important that our entire team can come together and overcome the pressure, improving our chances of having a successful year. If our team can have a successful year, it will improve my chances of getting looks at the next level.”

And the next level Steinwascher hopes to achieve is making the national team of his ancestral country, Peru.

To tryout for a national team other than the United States, there are certain requirements based on family history that need to be met, along with applying and being granted citizenship for said country.

“I think Nathan would secure a spot on the Peruvian national team if they saw his game film,” said Blake Reedy, Michigan Goalkeeper Academy coach and former Valparaiso goalkeeper. “His range of motion, quick hands and ability to use his feet as well as some field players really sets him apart from other contenders.”

Although Steinwascher had a remarkable junior season, he has his sights on a bigger and brighter future and knows the only way to get there is to keep improving his game.

“I think my season was a good way to get my name out on the radar and make sure people have an idea of who I am,” he said. “I think it is a good start to my exposure, but I do not think it is quite enough. Playing with the Michigan Bucks this summer will really help me. Doing well in the top developmental league and following that with another big season at UDM, like this past fall, will only increase my chances of living my dream as a pro.”