In sports, it’s rare to find a player considered to be a diamond in the rough.
Those would-be players that have top talent, but remain undiscovered as the season goes on, only getting a chance to play when the opportunity arises.
That would be the case of Logan Ketterer.
The sophomore goalkeeper from Racine, Wisconsin joined the Braves last year as a freshman but was the third goalkeeper behind then-sophomore Shay Niemeyer and decorated senior starter Brian Billings.
When the 2014 season began, Ketterer was still on the bench but this time, was only behind the junior Niemeyer.
Niemeyer struggled to start the year, allowing 16 goals in nine games, which prompted head coach Jim DeRose to make a change.
From then on, the Braves moved to a goalie rotation between Ketterer and Niemeyer.
Now, Ketterer has assumed the role as starting goalie, but in the worst possible way.
In the Oct. 28 game against Belmont, Niemeyer started in goal and went up to challenge a corner kick. He ended up tearing his ACL, which sidelined him for the year.
“We see him go up, he punches the ball away, and he lands and you kind of just hear it [when] he starts screaming,” Ketterer said. “My heart dropped.”
Ketterer’s ascension from third string goalkeeper to first team can be attributed to his work ethic, which DeRose said has never wavered from the start, even when Ketterer had little chance to even see the field.
“Less than eight months ago, Logan Ketterer was our third string goalkeeper who had very, very little chance of playing,” DeRose said. “And when he stepped in and got his moment… he has acquitted himself fantastically.”
Before Niemeyer’s injury, the goalie rotation of Ketterer and Niemeyer has proved to work.
After suffering a 5-2 drubbing to San Diego University, neither Ketterer nor Niemeyer have allowed more than two goals in a game since.
Over that same course of time, Ketterer posted a 6-5 record as a starter between the pipes, with a save percentage of .804.
His play in goal has also earned him two Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) player of the week awards, for the weeks of Sept. 22 and Nov. 3.
Although it was Ketterer’s play that won the awards, he credits both accolades to his teammates.
“I wish it was defensive line of the week,” Ketterer said. “Without the guys in front of me, there’s no way any of that would’ve happened.”
With the end of the regular season in sight and the MVC tournament right around the corner, Ketterer has become one of the top leaders for the Braves.
However, DeRose acknowledged that Ketterer’s play has made it effortless to entrust the sophomore with the starting goalie position.
He also noted that Ketterer’s play puts him among the best in the MVC.
“Logan’s playing a lot of minutes, so we’re in competent hands,” DeRose said. “[He has] asserted himself, not just as the starter, but as one of the better goalkeepers in the league.”