Walker named state boys soc­cer’s player of the week

Grace Chris­tian goalie picked by NSCAA, Max­preps for honor

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By TED BLACK tblack@somd­news.com

Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, the Na­tional Soc­cer Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica and Max­Preps an­nounced their high school soc­cer play­ers of the week for each state for Sept. 6 to 11 and the se­lec­tion from Mary­land boys was Grace Chris­tian Academy se­nior goal­keeper Elisha Walker.

The state’s girls win­ner was Brooke Wind­sor from Cam­bridge-South Dorch­ester High School in Dorch­ester County.

In two games last week, Walker recorded a to­tal of 42 saves as the Knights de­feated Takoma Academy of Mont­gomery County 1-0 on Sept. 7 then played to a 2-2 draw against King’s Chris­tian Academy of St. Mary’s County two days later. Walker recorded 25 saves in post­ing the shutout over Takoma and then had 17 saves in the tie with King’s Chris­tian.

“We have a young team and we have not been play­ing well on de­fense,” Grace Chris­tian head coach Dan Per­rotta said, “but Elisha has been mak­ing a lot of great saves. The game he had against Takoma was just in­cred­i­ble. He was mak­ing one sen­sa­tional save af­ter an­other. It re­ally was amaz­ing to watch. I can’t thank the soc­cer coaches enough for se­lect­ing him. It’s a great honor.”

Walker, who recorded 12 saves in a sea­son-open­ing 3-0 vic­tory over The Calver­ton School on Aug. 26, got tested con­sid­er­ably more in the re­match with that squad on Tues­day. Calver­ton scored on its first shot at­tempt of the game less than five min­utes in, but

Walker recorded 30 saves over the last 75 min­utes as Grace (50-2, 4-0-2 MISAL) earned a 1-1 tie with their long­time Mary­land In­de­pen­dent Schools Ath­letic League foe.

“Calver­ton had six new play­ers from the pre­vi­ous game and all six were great ath­letes and great soc­cer play­ers,” Per­rotta said. “”As soon as they crossed mid­field they were send­ing shots in. Elisha got his hand on the first one dur­ing a 3-on1 rush, but af­ter that he made some tremen­dous saves. We played a Swiss cheese de­fense, but he made some un­real saves to keep us in it.”

Walker made at least 12 saves in each of the Knights’ first four wins to start the sea­son. In a Sept. 2 4-2 vic­tory over South­ern Mary­land Chris­tian Academy, the fourth straight win, one of Walker’s dozen saves came on a penalty kick which pre­served the Knights’ 3-2 ad­van­tage.

“Elisha has just been the vo­cal leader for us out there since the first game,” Per­rotta said. “We have a lot of young play­ers, a lot of new play­ers and he’s re­ally been help­ing to di­rect traf­fic out there. We have to get bet­ter on de­fense, but he’s kept us in ev­ery game and he’s just re­ally play­ing at a higher level than I’ve ever seen be­fore.”

STAFF PHOTO BY TED BLACK

Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, the Na­tional Soc­cer Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica and Max­Preps an­nounced their high school soc­cer play­ers of the week for each state for Sept. 6 to 11 and the se­lec­tion from Mary­land boys was Grace Chris­tian Academy se­nior goal­keeper Elisha Walker.

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