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Confidence drives Wiest as his BG career begins to come to a close


Michael Wiest prepares to deliver the ball to a teammate in their game earlier this season against Big Ten foe Ohio State University.

“Confident” is the word many coaches and players use when describing senior goalkeeper Michael Wiest.

Wiest, a native of Naperville, Ill., is in his third year starting as a Falcon and has been a key piece to the improvement of the soccer program.

“It starts with culture,” said head soccer coach Eric Nichols. “He is the prototype of a student athlete that we look for, It starts with being a real character-driven person, but also being a real motivated and driven person on the field as well. He has been someone who will do whatever it takes for their team and themselves to be successful.”

Wiest was given his first collegiate start against the then number nine ranked Michigan Wolverines at Cochrane Field. He posted five saves, none any bigger than the two saves in the second half when the Falcons were leading 1-0. This game posted many firsts for Wiest as it was his first start, win and shutout. However, this was not just another win for Wiest; he says it is favorite memory from his four years on the team.

“That was the best game I had ever been apart of,” Wiest said. “The atmosphere was unbelievable and against a ranked opponent like Michigan beating them 2-0 the feeling was just unbelievable.”

Wiest built off of that first start throughout the rest of his BG career as he had nearly 274 shutout minutes his sophomore year and topped that number junior year as he had a career-long shutout streak of 327 minutes. His junior year he had 100 saves, the most saves by a Falcon goalkeeper since 2003, and his seven shut outs were the most by a Falcon goalkeeper since 2001.

“It has been a steady progression,” said assistant coach Charlie Edwards. “He was extremely raw when he first got here and he has now turned into a player we think can play at the next level. Credit him because it is his work ethic it’s his ability to be coachable and change his mentality to make himself better, he has come a long way.”

So far this season, Wiest has accumulated 45 saves with a .804 save percentage allowing 11 goals and playing every minute of all 12 games. Through the 12 games this season he has accumulated five shutouts including one at home against Big Ten opponent Ohio State University.

“In some games I have to make a couple saves, but the guys in front of me save me a lot,” Wiest said. “I have just been doing my job. The guys in front of me have made everything possible.”

Wiest’s performances this year have been noticed by more than just his teammates and coaches as there has been a new twitter hashtag that has come alive this season. #WiestIsABeast began around Sept. 3 before their home match against Michigan and is frequently seen on twitter and sometimes even in the Athletic Department’s preview notes.

“We make fun of him a lot for it.” said junior midfielder Danny Baraldi. “It’s a good laugh during practice. It’s a good nickname to have though I guess.”

Off the field, Wiest is a Physical and Health Education major, has been named captain this year and was named Academic All-Mac sophomore year and honorable mention his junior year.

“He has been an excellent mentor,” said redshirt freshman Nick Landsberger. “He has always set the standard and energy high in practice. His competitiveness and his leadership in the back is what I want to take away from his mentorship when it is eventually my team in the back.”

A leader is not only an on-field leader but he is an off the field leader as well, somebody who the other players can have a good time and get along with. According to the players, Wiest does just that.

“He has a great personality and keeps the team together,” said co-captain Brandon Silva. “We all have fun with him,”

Wiest is also known for his dances to songs in the locker rooms before practices, Baraldi said.

“Mike does this little rendition of ‘Dirty Pop’ by Nsync,” Silva said. “It has been on multiple occasions too, not just one specific time.”

Wiest plans to be a psychical education teacher after he graduates from BG in the spring and eventually enter into coaching.

“I will use a lot of the stuff we do here and at practice that has helped me when I coach,” Wiest said.

Wiest has another seven regular season games and then the MAC conference tournament begins before his BG career will comes to an end.

“These have been the best four years of my life and I will never forget them,” Wiest said.

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