AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week She began the season splitting time with senior Meghan Hartwyk, but Ramos who noted that veteran goalies Hartwyk and junior Tara Gotthardt have been extremely supportive has now started 13 consecutive matches, including each of the 49ers’ four Big West Conference contests. She has seven shutouts this season for No. 25 LBSU (11-3-1, 3-1) to help the team to a program-record eight thus far, but possibly one of her and the team’s finest moments came in one of the four games they have allowed two or more goals. Against defending conference tournament champion Cal Poly at LBSU two weeks ago, the 49ers trailed 2-1 at halftime when Ramos had trouble holding the ball after a Cal Poly chance in the box, and the Mustangs pounced on the loose ball to score. While it was the type of soft goal that no team wants to allow, the 49ers held firm from there and eventually won 4-2 to begin a sweep of the weekend games that ended with them ranked in the top 25 for the first time ever. “That could have been a backbreaker for us mentally, but they got themselves together,” said coach Mauricio Ingrassia of his young 49ers, who host UC Davis in nonconference action today at 3 p.m. at George Allen Field. “I was more proud of Liz that day than I was in any of the shutouts.” Ramos first met Ingrassia the summer before her senior year at Bakersfield’s Liberty High School, when she was invited to be part of the Olympic Developmental Program team he coached, and attended ODP camp in Idaho. She met some of her future LBSU teammates there, including freshmen Sara Baca, Kim Silos and Tiffany Vaught, and it was her first ODP camp among players who had been in the program for years. “I was so excited, like ohmigod, I can’t believe I’m going, but then I was so scared and nervous,” Ramos said. “And Mauricio, he just knows what he’s talking about, he knew a lot of the girls, so I didn’t want to mess up and have him be like, ‘Why is she here?” I just didn’t want to look bad, he just really intimidated me, I don’t know why.” So, why would anyone in their right mind want to play goalkeeper? “I don’t know, I don’t know why anyone would want to be a goalie,” laughed Long Beach State freshman keeper Liz Ramos. “Anyone on the field can make 50 mistakes in a game, but it won’t show as much as if I accidentally whiff a ball and it goes in. Any little mistake that I make is a goal. I kind of like that pressure now, but it used to get to me a lot, when I used to make little mistakes and feel really bad after a game. But now I’ve learned a lot from all the games that I’ve played, and it’s fun to me now.” It takes a special type of person to put on that jersey. To don those funny gloves, to stand there all alone, trying to sort out all the chaos as half the players spend the entire game trying to beat you, to make you look foolish. To be the last line of defense, to know that while the opponent has to get through 10 of your teammates before even approaching you, the only thing most of the people in the stands will see is whether the easiest player to spot, the one in the long-sleeve shirt that’s a different color from the rest, makes a mistake or not. Following the camp, Ingrassia made his recruiting pitch to Ramos, and she committed at the end of September 2004. Now, after playing forward well enough in high school to score 16 goals as a junior while playing goalie for her club team, Ramos is goalie for a nationally ranked team. “Sometimes as a goalie, you can just have those amazing games, where it’s like 4-0, your team (routs) the other team, and you come off the field like, ‘I didn’t have to do anything today,” ” Ramos said. “The defense I think has been doing amazing this year, I haven’t had to do a lot of stuff, so it’s been good. But you get that one chance, and either you do it or you don’t.” One chance, to either be the unsung hero or the possible goat. So why would anyone want this job? “I think you just have to have the mentality, I don’t think it’s anything you can pinpoint,” LBSU goalkeeper coach Wendi Whitman said. “You have to be willing to be courageous, and willing to take responsibility, because obviously a lot depends on you. Obviously, she has the physical tools, but also the ability to come in and set the tone for your team is important back there.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!