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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Soccer

Last line of defense


Koski makes a save earlier this season against the UTSA Roadrunners. In the game, the goalkeeper allowed one goal over 12 shots in the Cougars 2-1 victory at Robertson Stadium. | Courtesy of Stephen Pinchback/UH Athletics

Koski makes a save earlier this season against the UTSA Roadrunners. In the game, the goalkeeper allowed one goal over 12 shots in the Cougars 2-1 victory at Robertson Stadium. | Courtesy of Stephen Pinchback/UH Athletics

Last season, Koski compiled 56 saves and had a 1.42 goals against average. In 2010, she assisted the Cougars in leading the conference in shutouts (8) and set a UH record for goals against average (0.64). | Nikki Taylor/The Daily Cougar

Last season, Koski compiled 56 saves and had a 1.42 goals against average. In 2010, she assisted the Cougars in leading the conference in shutouts (8) and set a UH record for goals against average (0.64). | Nikki Taylor/The Daily Cougar

Cami Koski heads toward the goal box, tapping one goal post and then the other, then sinks to the ground. There, she prays for focus and no injuries. She stands up, determined and ready for anything the next 90 minutes will bring.

“I’ve been telling myself ‘If I don’t get scored on,

we can’t lose the game,’” Koski said. “I’ve just been giving it everything I have.”

The junior took her first year on the Cougars team as a building block to better prepare and hone her skills. An overall athlete from a young age, Koski played several different sports but decided on soccer in the end.

“Obviously I play goalkeeper, which is a much different position than on the field,” Koski said. “I like the adrenaline rush and the pressure that I’m the last person before the ball hits the net.”

With 44 saves under her belt this season, Koski provides confidence for her teammates, said junior midfielder Kylie Cook, three-year teammate and a friend of Koski’s.

“It’s really easy to play with Cami because she’s very vocal,” Cook said, “She has no problem telling you where to go on the field. I’m confident in her abilities. At any ball in her box, I know she’s going to get to it first because she’s very tenacious.”

Although soccer is her passion, there is more to Koski than just what goes on in the net.

“I want to be a nurse,” Koski said. “I’ve always been very interested in medicine. I wanted to be a cardiologist since I was five years old, but I struggled with the idea of balancing med school and being a student athlete.”

“I think nursing will be good for me. I just think that the body is an amazing thing, and pushing myself as an athlete, I get to see all the crazy amazing stuff that you can do.”

Koski says her work ethic is a point of pride.

“I want to be remembered as someone accountable,” Koski said. “I try to be a good friend and a good teammate. I feel like I try to leave it on the field, whether it’s in practice or the weight room.

“I like to think of myself as the hardest worker you will find.”

Assistant coach Suzie Grech says she can vouch for Koski’s work ethic.

“She’s been a pleasure to work with,” Grech said. “She’s an extremely hard worker. She’s one of the fittest kids on the team. Working is never a question with her. She doesn’t take days off. Sometimes you want her to chill out and relax, but she’s a go-getter and it’s impressive to see that.”

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