Today, we are taking a look at the “Big Nine” this conference contains the teams Albert Lea, Austin, Faribault, Mankato East, Mankato West, Northfield, Owatonna, Red Wing, Rochester Century, Rochester John Marshall, Rochester Mayo, Winona. The last article was the best returning forwards, and now today we focus on the top returning goalies for this conference- we feature three top players then an honorable mention. This will be the last article for the Big Nine conference about their top returning players; let’s get right into it!
The top goalie in this conference is, and he currently is ranked as the number 6 goalie in the state in his class. Cothern finished his junior season with a very very good record of 7-1. His only loss last season was a one goal lost to Mankato East, but that is very respectable as they were a top team in the conference, and had some really good scorers. Cothern finished last season with a GAA of 1.38 and had a save percentage of .949 percent. He also had 3 shutouts in the 8 games he played last year, which solidifies him as the conferences best goalie by a pretty large margin. Excited to see what he can do this year against the top talent in the state. If he has similar numbers this season- he will be a top 3 goalie in the class when all said and done.
2. Keaton Walock | 6’0 Goalie | Northfield | Class of 2023
Walock is one of the most underrated goalies in the state, as he is currently unranked by us for the class of 2023. Last year for his sophomore year he went a very solid 8-2 with 4 shutouts- a shutout in 40 percent of his games. He had a .921 save percentage and a 1.65 goals against average. Walock will see increase in starts for sure as the backup goalie to him last year was a senior. He should get to play in every single game this upcoming season. Northfield is for sure looking like the best team in the conference, and with the way I see their season going I have walock at over 10 wins and a sub 2 goals against average and over .930 save percentage. Excited to see what he can do in the first year of his upperclassman career.
3. Preston Meier | 6’0 Goalie | Owatonna | Class of 2022
Meier is up at number three because of his impressive 8-3 record in his junior season. His goals against average was 2.44 and his save percentage was .893, so he has some potential to improve those stats, but he can definitely do that, as he got some nice experience under his belt last season. Meier needs to continue to improve his stats, but his record is very very good when you consider what teams he lost to. He lost to- Minnetonka, Lakeville North and Northfield- three very respectable teams to lose to. I think he has the potential to skyrocket his GAA and Sv percentage, while keeping about the same record. Looking forward to seeing what he can do.
These are the top 3 goalies returning to the Big Nine conference this year, but we lost 2 very solid non seniors to AAA in Faribault’s and Mankato West’s . This rounds out the top returning players to the big nine conference. We will be back next time with the Big South! ,