A Desire for More

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UVU goalkeeper wants to have it all.

Kaleb Searle | Sports writer | @k_searle87

Photos courtesy of UVU Athletics

During the inaugural season for the Utah Valley University men’s soccer team, freshman goalkeeper Collin Partee burst onto the scene as one of the top collegiate goalkeepers in the nation.  Partee started 16 games as the Wolverines finished their first season with a record of 9-7-2.  Now, after spending the summer with the Portland Timbers Under-23 squad, Partee is ready to step up and help take this program to the next level.

“I want more results,” Partee said.  “I want to win every game, and I want to take this program to the next level.”

Partee chose to commit to UVU straight out of high school.  One of the biggest draws for him was the newness of the program and the opportunity to play immediately.20140912_SOCCERVSGONZAGA_0635

“As a goalkeeper, to play as a freshman is pretty unheard of,” said Partee.  “When UVU came around as a first year program, I saw it as a big opportunity that not a lot of people get.  In my stomach I just knew that this program was going to do something special.”

Partee did play, and he played well.  He led the Western Athletic Conference with a stingy 0.81 goals-against average, which was good for 30th in the country.  He had two shutouts and was part of a combined effort for a third.  He also played a crucial part in a Wolverine defense that placed sixth in the country in save percentage.

This summer, Partee had the opportunity to continue sharpening his skills with the U23 team of the Portland Timbers.  He was selected as the number one goalkeeper for the first half of the Timbers’ season and the playoffs.

“It was fantastic playing with some of the best players in the country, and the Portland Timbers U23 team plays at a very high level with high expectations every season,” Partee said.20141031-MS vs. IW-147 copy

He hopes to be able to continue his relationship with the Timbers and play for them again next summer.

“Obviously, as a freshman, it was easy to come in and anything I did well was going to be recognized, but now the bar is set even higher and now I’ve got to push to be even better… and to be that big role that the goalkeeper position is,” Partee said.

As a second-year program with so many young players, the Wolverines need to avoid having a sophomore slump.  They need to continue to work hard and not get complacent after having success in the team’s first season.

“This preseason we are focused… this team is very special… and we’ve got a coach that gets on us if we ever slack off,” Partee said.

The early returns are promising, and as the Wolverines continue to move forward and make noise in the Western Athletic Conference, Partee and his teammates will keep pushing and working hard to make something special happen.