Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Goalie breaks U records, aspires to coach

October 18, 2000
Sara Kloosterman kicks the ball away from MSU —

Some people are just groomed to be college coaches, and MSU senior goalkeeper and co-captain Sara Kloosterman has taken all the necessary steps to become the Tom Izzo of women’s soccer.

Like Izzo, Kloosterman has shown interest in coaching while still a player. Kloosterman earned her coach’s license with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and has coached goalies for the Olympic Development Program.

And Kloosterman, who will coach MSU’s goalies next year, already has her own Mateen Cleaves waiting in the wings in freshman goalkeeper Stacy Heller.

Heller, a Wisconsin native, said the main reason she signed with MSU was because she learned so much working with Kloosterman in the Olympic program.

“When she was instructing us everything she did was 110 percent and just made you motivated to get to that level,” Heller said. “(At MSU) it’s the same thing. Her work ethic is amazing.”

Although Kloosterman has her national coaching license, she plans on getting her state license soon so she can start molding MSU goalies.

Kloosterman said Heller is the most amazing freshman goalie she has ever seen.

“I can’t wait to coach her, I’ve coached her at the ODP level,” Kloosterman said of Heller. “Now she’s here and I’m like ‘Yay, you and I, we’re going to build you into the next Kloosterman.’”

MSU head coach Tom Saxton said it’s very impressive when a person earns their coaching license at the national level while still in college.

“That’s rare and it shows that that young person is serious about coaching,” Saxton said. “It’s a similar situation to (mine). I was heavily involved in coaching as a player here. Once you make up your mind to do it there’s avenues out there and she’s taken the appropriate avenues.”

Kloosterman, who is in her last year of athletic eligibility, said it will be a tough transition coaching her former teammates next year since she will still have a desire to play.

“It’s going to take some getting used to because I know that I’ll (still) really want to play,” Kloosterman said. “Sophomore year I probably could have medical redshirted but the NCAA didn’t let me, so I only really played three years of college soccer. But just because of all of our tight bonds (with my teammates) that we had this year it will be fine.”

Kloosterman has made her mark, rewriting the record books through 15 games this season. She set the all-time career shutout record in a 0-0 tie Oct. 1 at Indiana.

Kloosterman, who started as a freshman, said her career has not always been so smooth.

“My first game against Western (Michigan) I came out (of the lineup) 20 minutes into the game with a broken nose. I got nailed in the nose so I didn’t go back in because it wouldn’t stop bleeding,” she said. “Then we went down to Notre Dame and lost 6-0 and people were like ‘So you want to quit college soccer yet?’ and I was like ‘No I’m just getting started.’”

Since her freshman year, things have progressively gotten better for the three-year starter, who was named Big Ten player of the Week for the first time the week of Oct. 9.

“The Big Ten Player of the Week is a credit to our whole team,” Kloosterman said. “Yeah, I got credit for it, but our team played awesome (during the week) so it was just our team finally getting credit in the Big Ten.”


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