Alumni Programs

A Tale of Two Greener-Athletes

Matt Stalnik '09 and Nathan Salveson '10

John Purtteman '85, Evergreen Soccer Coach

Editor's Note: John Purtteman has a unique view on the value of athletics at Evergreen. He is an alumnus himself, deeply committed to the Evergreen values: the 5 foci, the 6 expectations, the interdisciplinarity, campus and community. He is also an outstanding athlete and coach and believes that athletics is not only desirable but essential for this unique college.

They graduated one year apart. Matt Stalnik is 5’7’’ and 165 lbs. Nathan Salveson is 6’ and 195 lbs.. Both students transferred from community colleges. They met at Evergreen and quickly became good friends as well as teammates.

PurttermanIn the classroom, they excelled. On the field they exhibited passion for the game, worked tirelessly to achieve personal bests, supported their teammates and exhibiting leadership by good example. Both became team captains and both stayed on after graduation to help as assistant coaches. But here’s the clincher: Matt and Nathan both have gone on to play professional soccer in small but highly competitive teams. They are absolutely living their dreams.

Matt plays for the Wenatchee Fire FC. In a recent game against Revolución Tijuana, one of the top teams in the league, the Wenatchee World reported “The Fire were boosted by a stellar performance from goalkeeper Matt Stalnik, who made 37 saves, two assists, and also threw in two goals from across the turf in the fourth period, when the Revolución had pulled their keeper for a sixth attacker.”

Again, quoting from the Wenatchee World: “It’s huge,” Stalnik said of the win. “Tijuana is one of the top teams on the table in the pro league, and we proved we can play with anybody in the world.”

Nathan plays for the Kitsap Pumas. In a recent match Nathan backstopped the team to a 7-5 victory over the defending National Champions, the Tacoma Stars. Puma Head Coach Dustyn Brim sited Nathan for his bravery and dedication stating that “Nathan was huge! He is fearless and came up with some game changing saves.” In 2010, Kitsap finished second in their division in the Premier Arena Soccer League.

It has been fantastic to watch Matt and Nathan excel as athletes and students at Evergreen – to see joy and passion that drives them. Each in his own way has the discipline necessary to achieve great things, whether on the soccer field, or in the larger world. Wherever they go, I know they will represent Evergreen well and make us proud.