A year ago, Steeven Raymont was still getting his feet back under him after suffering an ACL tear.
This season, it’s a different story for the Palm Beach Atlantic goaltender.
Raymont is having a stellar senior year for the Sailfish, who are gearing up for a Sweet 16 showdown on Friday against Rollins.
“This season is the season I can finally play at 100 percent,” Raymont said. “Last year I was coming back from an ACL injury on my left knee and I was still trying to recover and get back to my best level. But this season, I’m feeling great. I still have room for improvement, especially with my distribution, but I’m getting there.”
In 18 starts, Raymont, a senior out of France, has made 40 saves and has recorded three shutouts for a Sailfish team that is 16-1-1 on the season.
“This season has been great so far,” Raymont said. “The team is incredibly talented. But this is not the only key to our success. We are a real family and we are united. We can rely on each other. We know that if we make a mistake on the pitch, a teammate is going to sacrifice himself to recover the ball. The coaching staff is also great. I have been working with Brian McMahon for four years now, and the way he coaches his teams is fantastic.”
As for his personal performance, Raymont is pleased with how far he has come this year.
“I think I am playing my best,” Raymont said. “I am one of the most experienced players on the team and I try to lead my teammates as well as I can. Statistically, my numbers are great, but I have to give credit to my teammates, who defend well on the pitch.”
Palm Beach Atlantic defeated West Alabama in its first NCAA tournament game, winning 2-0, and it is hoping to keep the momentum going this weekend. For Raymont, it’s been a thrill to experience the tourney for the first time.
“Being a part of the NCAA tournament is amazing,” Raymont said. “If you asked me or anybody on the team, before the season, if we thought we were going to be in the NCAA tournament this year, we would probably say that it was going to be hard. But since day one of the preseason, something happened. We finally found ourselves on and off the pitch, and now I think we deserve to be playing in the tournament.”
No matter how it plays out the rest of the way, Raymont is thankful for his experience as a college soccer player.
“I have real brothers on this team,” Raymont said. “Also, I think I had a chance to improve at every level as a goalkeeper. I am now more confident and I think my overall goalkeeping abilities also improved. That is what I need to do to reach my goal to play at the next level.”