Keeping his eye on the goal


Pictured with Pat McNamee, a senior in business administration, are 2010 teammates (left to right) Jonathan Goecker, a senior in mechanical engineering; Brian Seawright, a junior in nuclear engineering; J.J. Bilyeu, a senior in mechanical engineering; and Jake Kliewer, a sophomore in mechanical engineering. Photo by B.A. Rupert

As a junior, Pat McNamee and teammate Spencer Brinkmeyer became the first players in the history of the men’s soccer program at Missouri S&T to earn All-America honors. A goalie, McNamee helped the Miners record 11 shutouts during the 2010 season, earning the GLVC’s defensive player of the year honor. The Miners reached the championship game of the NCAA Midwest Regional. Here is a Q&A with McNamee:

What is the biggest thing you took away from the 2010 season?
There are really two things. First, is just how far the program has come. I was fairly familiar with the program before I got here because my brother, Mike, was the goalie on the team. I knew the team had some potential but was still trying to find its way in the GLVC. My freshman year was Coach (Joe) Ahearn‘s first year here and the team had a lot of things we needed to improve on if we ever dreamed to advance in the postseason. He has really changed the culture of the program and how we go about our business. In turn, the team has really bought into his system and every year we keep getting better. I am very proud of how far we have come in just four years.

After the regional championship game with Northern Kentucky — and then seeing NKU win the national championship — did you and your teammates get a sense that we can make a run at it ourselves in 2011? Is that something the team has talked about at all?

Oh, absolutely. We played NKU three times this (past) year and every game came down to the wire. I think both teams sensed that we had a legitimate shot at the national championship this year. Having the number of players coming back from the team last year really gives us a lot of confidence going into this season. We have been a fairly young team the past couple seasons — and we all are grown up now and ready to take the program to the next level. We’re very excited about this season.

You and Spencer Brinkmeyer are the first players in the history of the men’s soccer program to earn All-America honors. What did you think when you heard the news?

I was quite surprised, to be honest. It is a tremendous honor and I think it belongs to the whole team. They are the ones on the field running around preventing the ball from even getting to me. My job is just to clean up what happens to get past them, and last season that didn’t happen very often. If it wasn’t for the nine other guys in front of us, Spencer and I would not have received these honors. I have been very humbled by the experience and look forward to building on the success of last year.

When did you start playing soccer and how long have you played in goal?

I started playing when I was five-years-old. My first game in goal came when I was 8-years-old and I was the goalie in my grade school team and high school team. I was never a full-time goalie until my junior year of high school. I was the stopper for my club team until I told the coach that I wanted to switch to goalie full time.

2011 schedule
2011 roster

by John Kean
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