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Nebraska soccer vs. Arkansas, 8/9

Nebraska goalkeeper Aubrei Corder (right) leaps over teammates and opponents to make a save in the first half against Arkansas in a 2018 match at Hibner Stadium.

It's a goalkeeper's favorite image: The visual of a "0" next to the opponent's name on the scoreboard.

For the 25th time in her career, Aubrei Corder was able to soak in that feeling this past weekend, in the Huskers' 2-0 win at Indiana.

"Once the final whistle blew, I yelled in celebration," Nebraska's senior goalkeeper said. "I cherish that moment looking at (the scoreboard)."

For four seasons, Corder has been the backbone of Nebraska's defense. A mainstay between the pipes to the tune of 6,754 minutes and 37 seconds.

The Barboursville, West Virginia, native recently set two school records — minutes played by a goalkeeper, and career starts by a keeper (at 71 and counting).

No. 72 will come Thursday when the Huskers (2-5-2, 1-1-0 Big Ten) host Northwestern (2-5-1, 0-1-0) at 6 p.m. at Hibner Stadium.

"That wasn't even on my radar," Corder said of the records. "When I started I was 17 years old and there were several other goalkeepers at that time. My focus was going to every practice every single day and giving my best, and the starts and minutes will come with that."

Corder set the career starts record Friday at Purdue, passing Karina LeBlanc and Emma Stevens in the process.

Her 25 career shutouts rank second in school history, and she's third in career saves (212).

Not bad for a player who nearly stuck to playing as a striker before her career started at Nebraska.

"As a soccer player from West Virginia, it really puts into perspective what you believe you can do versus maybe what your surroundings or other people around you were doing," Corder said. "I'm doing something different than a lot of people that I grew up with, but that's OK. This is my route in life and this is God's path for me. I was able to take advantage of my abilities and people surrounding me that helped me achieve that."

Corder played every minute as a freshman, helping lead the Huskers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. She played 1,842 minutes, out of a possible 1,847, as a sophomore and all but 22 minutes as a junior.

For Corder, there is a lot of pride in playing a large amount of minutes and helping her team. Her persistence in goal also has opened some other doors.

"It really helps me when interacting with younger kids or young girls, help empower them," Corder said of the young local goalkeepers, boys and girls, who come to NU games. "Just seeing their faces and seeing how much joy it brings them, even watching me play, and giving them that hope for them in the future, it's been really awesome to see that impact."

Though Corder produced immediately as a freshman, there was a transition period, as there is for any freshman. Corder was home-schooled growing up, so arriving at a new campus was a drastic change. But Corder got to Nebraska in the spring before her freshman season, which allowed her to get acclimated to college life. Immediately, she was able to work on her individual soccer skills, too.

"There's just a lot of unknowns," Corder said. "But Nebraska was a huge blessing for me just because the support they give us. Even the transition to college, for me it was relying a lot on our academic staff, our compliance staff. We have just amazing people here that are willing to help you with whatever you need."

Helping Corder transition on the pitch was the leadership of the upperclassmen, including then-senior Caroline Flynn.

Corder's soccer skills were honed playing for club teams in Columbus, Ohio. That meant driving three hours one way for practices. But it allowed Corder to play in showcases and get recognized by Nebraska.

Though a veteran of veterans, Corder said there remains room for improvement.

"The big thing for me this year is consistency from game to game and practice," said Corder, who will graduate in December and has her sights set on playing professionally.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2639 or cgrell@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSSportsGrell.

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