Year: Redshirt junior
From: St. Louis, Missouri
Sport: Men’s soccer
- Earned first collegiate start and recorded four saves against the University of Wisconsin on Oct. 15, 2014, which ended in a 1-1 draw
- Ranked No. 6 in the nation out of all Division I teams with a .33 goals against average and has only allowed two goals in six games
- Recorded nine saves and Loyola’s win over Drake University was Chekadanov’s fifth consecutive shutout
Loyola Phoenix: When did you start playing soccer?
Andrew Chekadanov: I started early. My dad played soccer a lot … When I was five, he signed me up and I loved it right away. It came to me really naturally, too … My older sister doesn’t play soccer, she plays basketball.
LP: What was your recruiting process like?
AC: I started looking at smaller schools. I started the recruiting process late my senior year of high school. I got in contact with coach Neil Jones. He was still at Northwestern at the time. I came to Loyola and took a tour and I fell in love with here quickly. And I knew I wanted to come to Loyola right then.
LP: Why did you choose Loyola?
AC: I wanted to play for a Division I program. Jones told me he wanted to rebuild the program because at the time it wasn’t what it is today. And I mean you can’t beat the campus. It’s in a great city and I’ve always wanted to move to Chicago.
LP: Being a goalie is kind of a thankless job. Why did you decide to be a goalkeeper as opposed to a field player?
AC: I got started in seventh grade. I tried out for a really good team and at the time, I was a field player. I didn’t make the team and at that point, I wanted to quit. My coach knew I was athletic, and so he suggested I try be a goalkeeper. So, I did and I’ve liked it since.
LP: What’s it like to have the success you have had in your first season as a regular starter?
AC: It’s nice to have this success after sitting for three years behind Tim [Dobrowolski]. At this level, everyone is sort of used to being the star, and so I didn’t like sitting, but I figured it was worth the wait, and it was. I can’t take all the credit for the success. I have to give credit to my defense. I haven’t had to do a lot.
LP: What’s your drive?
AC: I think my love for the game [keeps me motivated], and also, in a way, giving back to everyone who has supported me like my parents, because they’ve spent money and time on me. So, I do what I do for them.
LP: What’s your favorite part of soccer?
AC: [I like] being a part of a team. It’s definitely the best part. As a freshman, you come here and you don’t really know anyone and right away we bonded. We do everything together. These guys, I can call them all my best friends.
LP: You have one season of eligibility left after this season. Do you plan to come back next season?
AC: [Coach Neil and I] actually talked about it last week … and I definitely am thinking about it. It’s just nothing is set in stone as of right now.