WESTON (WAOW) -- There's an old, comedic cliche when it comes to sports that all you have to do to win is score more points than your opponent.
That's true in any case, but when it comes to soccer - the philosophy tends to be the other way around. The best way to victory is often to outlast your opponent by keeping them out of the goal.
That's just what Alex Pagel and D.C. Everest have done this season on their way to a conference title and a regional championship.
"(Alex's) performance this season has been incredibly consistent," D.C. Everest goalkeeping coach Billy Tehan told Newsline 9. "He's always been good but he would have bad days. Now he doesn't really have a bad day."
Pagel allowed just eight goals during Everest's 12-game conference schedule this season and now has his team poised for a deep postseason run.
"I take a lot of pride in it," Pagel said. "Our back line does a great job making my job a little bit easier every day. As much as I'd like to say I play a big role on the team, I've got ten guys in front of me making my job a lot easier."
Being the last line of defense takes a special kind of mindset. The pressure is always going to be there for any keeper, and Pagel says his secret in dealing with it is simple: Practice. Practice. Practice.
"We sometimes do yoga, sometimes we block shots. A lot of it is mental discipline like covering angles and making the save," the senior keeper said. "The pressure is something you deal with it as it comes. You like to be prepared for it every day with practice."
"Being a goalkeeper is not a comfortable thing," Tehan added. "It's naturally uncomfortable because you're the last person there. the only way to make sure that you're good under pressure is by doing it a lot."
Pagel and the Evergreens play host to D.C. Everest Thursday night in a sectional semifinal matchup.
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