Aidan Medina, a junior goalkeeper on the Joliet Catholic boys soccer team, was voted the Herald-News Athlete of the Week.
Medina received 130 votes to outdistance Lincoln-Way Central golfer Sarah Arsich, who was the runner-up on a ballot that also included Joliet Central cross country runner Madison King and Lockport golfer Joey Sluzas.
Medina made two saves and scored a goal during a penalty kick shootout that Joliet Catholic won 7-6 to earn a 2-1 victory over Parker in a bracket championship game at the BodyArmor Series.
Here is Steve Millar’s Q&A with this week’s winner:
Millar: What did it mean to you guys to win that BodyArmor Series championship?
Medina: It definitely meant a lot. We faced a lot of adversity. In the first game of the tournament, one of our players got hurt. In the second game, [it] went to PKs against a tough opponent (Manteno). Coming away with that championship really meant a lot to us all.
Millar: You went to penalty kicks again in the championship game and it was a long one, ending 7-6. You came up with a couple saves and scored in the shootout. How did it feel to step up for your team like that?
Medina: It felt amazing. As a captain, I like to lead the team by example, and I feel like delivering in those types of moments really shows that.
Millar: Do you take penalty kicks often as a shooter? How did that play out?
Medina: No. It was just because we were past the first five shooters and they asked coach who was taking the next one and he said, ‘Just leave Aidan out there.’ So, I just took it. I was just trying not to hit it over. I tried to keep the nerves down and just deliver a shot on goal.
Millar: As a goalie, what’s your approach to a shootout and how do you prepare for it?
Medina: I try to stay as calm as possible. I said a prayer before each shot. I like to take a few deep breaths, and normally I’ve always kind of decided where I’m going to dive before they even shoot the ball. It’s just about being set on what you want to do and executing it.
Millar: There’s always a big celebration when you win that tournament, with the Coke spray. What was that like?
Medina: My freshman year, we played in one of the championship games and lost, so walking back to the bus and seeing other teams getting to celebrate, it really gave us that motivation. So, it was really satisfying this year for us to be able to do it finally.
Millar: What do you like to do in your free time?
Medina: I like to hang out with family and friends, maybe play some video games. My favorite game right now is probably the new FIFA game.