After enduring one injury after another, it seemed that Butler women’s soccer player Natalie Galovska would never catch a break.
“When my doctor said I should probably call it quits, I remember thinking, ‘No, not again,’” Galovska, now a senior, said.
After battling injuries through her teens, Galovska’s aspirations were realized when she was offered a scholarship to play Division I soccer at Butler.
But then the aches and pains returned.
During her junior season, Galovska, then a midfielder, suffered a pulled quadricep and was approached by coach Tari St. John about the possibility of taking a medical redshirt.
Hopeful to return, Galovska declined.
However, her knee buckled during a pregame warmup, ending her season and jeopardizing her soccer career.
When she approached St. John about switching from midfield to goal, Galovska’s idea was well received.
“I just wasn’t ready to end it,” Galovska said. “I thought maybe there was one last chance. Maybe I could help out somehow if I were in goal.”
Galovska played goalie as a kid, and the Bulldogs were in need of depth at the goalkeeper position.
After working with goalkeeper coach Elise Edwards during the spring and honing her skills in the summer, Galovska emerged as the Bulldogs’ top option.
“There are special traits that make a good goalkeeper—risk taking and courageousness,” St. John said, “and Natalie has those. She’ll take a foot to the face if that means she’s going to save a goal for us.”
Galovska began the season as the Bulldogs’ No. 1 goalkeeper, starting nine games and amassing a 4-5 record.
Her first career victory was also her first shutout, a 1-0 win over Indiana State.
As Butler’s lone senior, Galovska’s career will be celebrated Friday in the Bulldogs’ final home match of the regular season.
“She is always there to offer advice or guidance when someone is struggling,” junior midfielder Kelly Grott said. “When senior night comes around, it’s going to set in that she won’t be around next year.”
While sophomore Julie Burton will move into the goalkeeper role for the Bulldogs after Galovska graduates, St. John said Galovska’s presence will be missed.
“She’s had a profound impact on this program with the inspiration she’s provided,” St. John said.