Last Line of Defense

Men's soccer keeper Misha Rosenthal has only one goal — protect the net. And he's done that pretty well during his days in purple.

The senior from Miami will likely close his Northwestern career as the best goalkeeper in school history. He owns a Wildcat-best 28 career shutouts. In 2008, when Rosenthal collected 13 clean sheets, he and the Wildcats' defense recorded an 805-minute scoreless stretch during one nine-game span.

With all of his accomplishments, Rosenthal reflects on his sophomore season — his medical redshirt year — as the one that meant the most for his development. He suffered a torn labrum, and though he did not play in any games, he still practiced with the team. 

"I had no pressure. I was just there for the love of the game," he said. "I grew more as a soccer player that year than at any other time in my life."

A healthy Rosenthal returned to the pitch in 2007 and tallied seven shutouts, which tied a school record. He topped that mark in 2008. While Rosenthal has already recorded two of the best seasons in Northwestern soccer history, he was looking forward 2009.

"For me, everything in the past is great, but I'm not thinking about it," he said. "I'm just focused on proving myself and doing as well as I can."

That philosophy is working out well for Rosenthal and his mates. The 12th-ranked Wildcats owned a 9-2-4 record as of mid-October.

— Robbie Levin (J12)