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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Goalie shuts out teams, opens up record books

Photograph by Sam Rivera Chico State goalie Sam Evans, who broke the all-time wins record and helped the Wildcats start the season strong, stands on the pitch at University Soccer Stadium.
Photograph by Sam Rivera
Chico State goalie Sam Evans, who broke the all-time wins record and helped the Wildcats start the season strong, stands on the pitch at University Soccer Stadium.

The record books need rewriting. Sam Evans, a goalkeeper for the Chico State men’s soccer team, has won more games behind the net than any other goalkeeper in school history.

Evans, a native of Snoqualmie, Wash., recorded his 31st victory for the Wildcats during his shutout win against San Francisco State Oct. 6. The 23-year-old record was held by goalkeeper Tom Liner during his time at Chico State from 1988-1991.

Evans made the trek down the pacific coast to play at Chico State, where he got playing immediately.

“I came to Chico and was able to get playing time right away, which is one of the reasons I felt Chico State was the right place for me,” Evans said. “I didn’t want to sit on the bench at a Division I program only to get playing time my senior year.”

Evans who now holds an overall record of 33-10-9 in his 52 appearances for the ’Cats, has been battling redshirt senior James Stroud for playing time ever since he got to Chico State.

“We’ve gone back and forth playing in games and we both know that the other one is breathing down our neck, and he is ready to step in if I’m not performing at 100 percent,” Stroud said. “In training, if one of us makes a good save or comes up big in any way, the other one will try to replicate that the next chance we get. It makes us better as goalkeepers”

Evans won’t take personal credit for breaking the wins record, attributing it to a team effort. He has been lucky to have a consistent back line of defense during his tenure playing with Luke Palmer and Michael Janjigian for four seasons and Jake Ward for three seasons, he said.

“It represents a group of guys who have played together for a long time and we all have had great success doing it together,” Evans said.

The record-breaking career for Evans may not be done. As things currently stand, Evans has put up 20 shutout victories, which puts him just two shutouts behind Liner’s 22.

“The goal going into every season is to put up a shutout, so I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibilities,” Evans said.

Evans will be leading the ’Cats as the season winds down with hopes of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

 

Greg Silvia can be reached at [email protected] or @gsilvia on Twitter.

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