A happy accident: Jonah Sautter led Greyhounds, is Sun Journal Soccer Player of the Year

0

Jonah Sautter (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Jonah Sautter claims he became a goalie “on accident.”

But his worth to the Lisbon boys’ soccer team — of which he was a “big backbone” according to head coach Dan Sylvester — was immeasurable.

The Greyhounds had to replace their entire defense from last year but they returned Sautter, a forward who turned into a goalie after his freshman season.

Advertisement

“Going into every game, I knew that I had to be on my game to get us in the game, and if we let up one then I got to make sure that I’m keeping the score 1-0 as best as I can,” Sautter said. “I think I did well with that, with keeping other people on track and making sure they’re doing their jobs. Definitely a lot of pressure, but I think it was nothing that I didn’t think I could handle.”

There wasn’t much Sautter couldn’t handle, never giving up more goals in a game than he had hands during the season. That’s why he grabbed hold of the Sun Journal All-Region Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year honor.

“We always tell keepers ‘make the saves you’re supposed to make, and anything beyond that is bonus.’ And I think if you take a look at Jonah throughout the season, Jonah came up very big for us at times against some really quality teams,” Sylvester said. “It changes our dynamic, the mentality, the mindset that we have with Jonah in the net.”

Sautter was as brick-wall as keepers come. He amassed six shutouts in 14 regular-season games, gave up just one goal in five other games, and never allowed more than two. Those came against MVC heavyweights Hall-Dale and Monmouth, and in a rare, relatively high-scoring win over Winthrop.

“For a few years now we knew that if we were going to be winning games we’re going to be winning 1-0, 2-1, and rarely we’d be winning 3-2 because we just don’t set up to have an offense like that,” said Sautter, who commended the defenders in front of him for taking some pressure off him with their play.

That defense did its job in a pair of shutout wins over Mountain Valley, but so did Sautter, who made key saves in both against a team that averaged more than three goals per game.

“To walk away in those two games with shutouts, that’s pretty big,” Sylvester said.

The second of those two wins was one of the high points of the Greyhounds’ season, but the next game was a low point — and the end. Lisbon lost to Hall-Dale to open the playoffs, giving up three goals for the first time all season.

“I think for me personally, even though we did lose 3-0 against Hall-Dale, I think in high school in general, I think that was the best personal game that I’ve played in,” Sautter said. “I definitely had harder and a lot more shots than I’ve ever seen in high school.”

wkramlich@sunjournal.com

Jonah Sautter (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)

Advertisement