No one in Tech Women’s soccer history has played more minutes through their junior season than goalkeeper Kari Naerdermann.
Naerdermann, a native of Germany, started her career playing for SG Essen in the Bundesliga, which is a professional association football club in Germany. She dressed as a member of the first team, which is the top team, and started for the second team, which is considered the reserve team.
“The competition is more crowded,” Naerdermann said. “Because it is more crowded, it is more hype here. At Tech, we play longer ball, and being athletic is more emphasized, back home we play more with each other and go for it.”
Naerdermann said she made a highlight video, then Tech coach Steve Springthorpe contacted her about playing for the university, and she accepted because of her fondness of the university.
Naerdermann, for her third straight year, started in every game for the Golden Eagles. She has accumulated 5,424 minutes and 51 seconds of play in her time at Tech, tying the all-time program record set by her senior teammate Lauren Brewer.
“I try to play every minute,” Naedermann said. “Back home I did not play with the first team, so it was good to come back here and play every second and get the confidence.”
Tech defeated UT Martin on Oct. 22 to earn a double-bye into the Ohio Valley Conference semifinals for the programs third straight trip to the final four. In that victory, Naerdermann tied the all-time OVC record for career shutouts, and she still has one more year to play.
“They feel very comfortable with her back there,” Springthorpe said. “She won’t win every opportunity, but having her allows us to take more chances and know I can play back to her in pressure.”
Naerdermann has a resume that includes many different awards.
In her first two years, 2015-16, she won back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards. She also accumulated Tech’s Most Valuable Player award in ’15 and the TTU Female Athlete of the Year in ’16. She was named to the All-OVC team both of those years as well.
She currently holds the records for save percentage, with a .869 single season mark. She set the mark for Goals Against Average, which is the mean of goals allowed per game, with a .59 mark. She set the Tech record in goals allowed with 13 in ’16.
Tech will head to Murray State for the OVC tournament on Nov. 3.