When Jordan Bertram was about 11 years old, she was playing on the Harbor FC soccer program’s second team. But an injury to the first team’s goalie opened a door.
While Bertram had never played goalie before, the coach threw her in goal for the first team during a tournament. She thrived.
Now, the Gig Harbor High School senior is going on to play Division I soccer at California State University Bakersfield.
“I’m super thankful the coach put me in goal now,” Bertram said. “Now, I am where I am. That got me to college.”
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Her skills in goal earned her a full ride to CSUB. While it’s easy for position players to get lost in the shuffle on a soccer pitch, Bertram embraces the spotlight that comes with being in goal.
“I like pressure,” she said. “I like the fact that the game can ride on me. I love the adrenaline after you make a big save. The only other recognition is if you score a goal, or sometimes an assist. You have every opportunity to get that big applause and recognition. When I was 11, I thrived off that. It pushed me through pressure situations. It keeps me going, that’s my favorite part about it.”
Bertram was offered during her junior year and committed shortly thereafter, leaping at the opportunity to pursue her dream of playing Division I soccer.
“I was included in everything the team was doing as soon as I was offered,” Bertram said. “I already felt like part of the team, felt like I knew all about them. I already know who I’m housing with. I don’t think a lot of other girls have that. I’m really thankful for that.”
CSUB plays in the Western Athletic Conference. The Roadrunners compiled a 6-12-3 overall record last season, while going 3-5-2 in the WAC.
Bertram’s favorite memory playing for the Tides was the magical run Gig Harbor had during the postseason during her junior year. Gig Harbor won several games in penalty kick shootouts — which once again thrust Bertram into the spotlight — and eventually culminated in Gig Harbor taking fourth in state in Class 4A.
“That was my biggest achievement in high school soccer,” Bertram said. “I felt like I was making a big difference.”
Bertram, who plans to study physical education and kinesiology in college, was part of a large signing class for Gig Harbor High School, which held a ceremony April 13 in the school’s library. Almost all the athletes had already signed, making the ceremony mostly symbolic. Still, it was a chance for all the athletes, across all different sports, to celebrate their achievements together in one place.
“I’ve always thought our senior class has so much talent,” Bertram said. “It was pretty cool to be a part the big signing class. We don’t really have a lot of student athletes here that make it this far. We feel really honored to be able to improve our skills in a college setting. It was cool we got that opportunity to all be together.”
Gig Harbor 2016 signing class
▪ Michael Toglia, baseball, UCLA
▪ John Burghardt, baseball, Washington State
▪ Davis Alexander, football, Portland State
▪ Kyle Olson-Urbon, football, Eastern Washington
▪ Jordan Bertram, soccer, Cal State Bakersfield
▪ Nate Younk, football, Montana Tech
▪ Kale Wong, football, Whitworth
▪ Neil Hassan, baseball, George Fox University
▪ Andrew Parker, baseball, University of Puget Sound
▪ Colton Robinson, baseball, Linfield
▪ Abby Hutton, softball, Bethel College (Kansas)
▪ Kara Tallman, soccer, Tacoma Community College
▪ Mia Ostergren, soccer, Central Washington
▪ Noah Samsen, football, Simon Fraser (B.C.)
▪ Sean Reemts, football, Northern Colorado University