Big 12 Campus Correspondent
After 14 seasons as a goalkeeper, pressure is no big deal for Baylor junior Courtney Seelhorst. During the 2010 season, the first-year starter was a calming and stabilizing presence on a team that posted 11 shutouts.
"Courtney really stepped up this year and is playing with a lot of confidence," coach Marci Jobson said. "She really turned it on during the offseason this last spring and really showed us she wanted the starting position."
The starting job is something Seelhorst had worked for throughout her first three years at Baylor when she only appeared in 19 games and garnered just one start. Last season, she waited her turn and learned behind the featured goalkeeper, senior Gianna Quintana.
"Gianna was a good example in everything that she did," Seelhorst said. "I think there are always things that you can learn from the people playing ahead of you."
With Quintana graduated, Seelhorst was quick to leave her mark on the Baylor team. The Bears finished second in the Big 12 with only 16 goals allowed for the season in 21 games. The Plano, Texas, native also posted eight solo shutouts on the year, while recording 69 saves.
"It feels really good actually," Seelhorst said of being the starter. "I have so much fun playing now."
Seelhorst got her start in soccer at the age of eight and was given the position of goalie when no one else among her group of friends volunteered for the spot. From then until now, Seelhorst has been running out to the same spot on the soccer field, while learning how to be successful.
"You are only as good as your last game," she said. "That is all people remember. I think the pressure of being goalie is something I have learned to deal with. Goalkeeping is just completely different than any position on the field."
Off the field, Seelhorst unwinds with friends and an episode of the TV show "Friends."
"I have watched all 10 of the seasons multiple times," she said. "It is one of those things you can watch over and over again. My favorite character is Chandler, because he is really dry and sarcastic and kind of dorky."
According to teammate and roommate Lindsey Johnson, the "Friends" DVDs comprise just a small portion of Seelhorst's ever-expanding DVD collection.
"Anyone who wants to see a movie goes to Courtney's room," Johnson said. "She is our movie library. She is also the cooker of the house. She is the one that always whips out these crazy recipes."
The recipe of a shutout that Seelhorst used on the field this season fueled Baylor to its most wins since 1999, after the team posted an 11-7-2 mark.
Individually, the Baylor goalie garnered Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors on October 5 for her play against Nebraska and Colorado. She notched 12 saves and surrendered just one goal as the Bears won both of those matches.
With her first year as a starter now complete, Seelhorst knows she has to continue to grow and develop to help Baylor reach new heights.
"My kicking game has always been a struggle for me and something that I just need to continue to work on," she said. "It is something that has improved a lot, but I still would like to improve on."