Royals Athlete of the Week Becca Borg, a senior from Gig Harbor, Washington recently moved into the No. 2 spot on EMU’s career saves list. (Photo by Scott Eyre)

Royals goalkeeper Becca Borg sits at No. 2 in career saves

“It’s a dangerous position,” says Eastern Mennonite University goalkeeper Becca Borg. “I’ve gotten concussed so many times and once there was a girl who side-tackled into my face. You get taken out all the time but you just have to deal with it. You honestly have to be a strong player to be in there. You have to take the hard hits.”

Borg (Gig Harbor, Wash./Peninsula) speaks with experience when discussing the perils of being a keeper on the soccer field. The Royals Athlete of the Week, Borg has worked (and played) through injuries her entire career, yet she recently moved into the No. 2 spot on EMU’s career saves list, while also holding a career best .741 save percentage.

“I didn’t even know that EMU held records for goalies with the most saves,” Borg admitted.  “It’s awesome to have something that shows your hard work. As goalkeeper, you don’t get recognized a lot.”

In a game against Randolph-Macon on Oct. 13, she gathered 15 saves, making it the sixth consecutive game she finished with double-digit saves and improving her total career number to 387.

Abby Diffenbach holds the women’s record with 457 saves.

After the women’s game against Stevenson on Sept. 5, Borg had a wake-up-call from head coach Ted Erickson about her potential. She recalls him saying, “You need to show the ODAC that you’re the best goalkeeper out there.”  This fueled her to work even harder.

“After that my work ethic increased so much, also because it’s my last year of playing,” the senior said.  “I don’t care at all that I’m injured.  I want to show the players that even if I’m hurting, I’m still out there working my hardest.”

Borg began her journey playing soccer at the age of three. A versatile player, she has played every position.

“When you’re in the goal, you can see the position of every single person,” she said. “You’re able to observe everyone and know how they play. Growing up, my coaches wanted me to learn every field position, so in the past I would do a lot of the field drills and then they’d say, ‘We’re doing shooting drills now, get in the goal.’  So I’ve learned all of the positions.  A coach can literally put me anywhere they want.”

Borg has also been a thrower for the track and field team, which has added extra stress. Last April, during the ODAC conference meet, the wear and tear became unexpectedly noticeable.

“I was throwing discus and as I whipped my arm, my hand went completely numb,” she said.  “I was supposed to do really well but I didn’t because it scared me so much. After discus, I went to throw javelin and it happened again.”

Doctors informed Borg she had tennis elbow, an irritation of the tissue connecting the forearm muscle to the elbow, but this may be the least of her worries. She has also had reconstructive surgery on both of her ankles.

“The ligaments in them are torn,” Borg noted. “You’re supposed to have three ligaments in your ankles but my right one only has two. Then in my left ankle they’re really stretched out so there’s no support.  It causes a lot of other problems to happen just because I have no support there. Right now I just tape them.”

Due to these injurie,s Borg has spent much of her time in physical therapy. She appreciates the work of physical therapists so much that she is majoring in kinesiology.

“I like the idea of helping people and watching them heal,” she said. “Having physical therapists help me through my injuries has made them like family to me. I love the atmosphere: you’re having fun while also helping someone.”

Borg is soaking in the rest of her goalkeeping career by playing with no regrets. Her mantra is “Work hard and understand what your role is. Develop that role and then take pride in it.”