LOMBARD — Glenbard East’s Veronica Fairbairn wasn’t always fond of playing goalkeeper.
She claims she wasn’t always good at it and the downtime involved in the position made it less exciting than playing in the field.
“I started (playing goalkeeper) when I was younger, but I absolutely hated it,” Fairbairn said. “I hated it so much. I used to be a forward, but then I went to a different team from Firebirds (a Lombard-based club) my freshman year and I just wasn’t as good as anyone else on the field so I just stuck to keeper.”
It’s easier to like the position now that Fairbairn is approaching the career shutout record at Glenbard East, which stands at 27, and will continue her career at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Fairbairn picked up her fourth shutout of the season in the Rams’ 2-0 win over Glenbard South on Monday. She now revels in making big saves.
“It’s probably just because I got better at it,” she said. “I always liked to be on the field before, but I like it now.”
Fairbairn will join former Rams teammates Erin Mrazek and Jessica Grumstrup, who are both freshman at Whitewater. The four-year varsity keeper first heard about Whitewater this summer when she attended a soccer camp there and liked it enough to make the commitment.
In addition to chasing the all-time shutout record, Fairbairn also said she would like to earn all-state honors after being an all-sectional pick last year.
So far this season Fairbairn has helped stabilize a young Rams teams that starts five sophomores and a freshman. East held a 6-3-2 record before beginning play in the Niles West Tournament.
“She has the ability to keep you in a game,” said East coach Kent Overbey. “Even if it’s one or two shots you can rely on her.”
Playing in the DuPage Valley Conference, the Rams face top competition on a regular basis. Games against Naperville Central (a 3-2 loss) and Naperville North (a 3-0 loss) kept Fairbairn busy.
“Any of those games, Naperville Central, Naperville North, they could have been five, six goals against us, but she always keeps us in it,” Overbey said.