All-State Goalkeeper RJ Stoller Reflects on his Career on the TWHS Men’s Soccer Team


Pamela Klopfer

RJ Stoller Wait expectantly in the goal during the first tournament game 2021 season against Olentangy H.S.

Aidan Crowley

In a season where the Cardinals Men’s Soccer team failed to reach the height of their success of the previous fall, starting goalkeeper RJ Stoller still views his senior campaign as a win. The Cardinals were knocked out in the district final, losing 2-1 to Canal Winchester, despite putting up a valiant effort. In 19 games, including those in the tournament, Stoller allowed 14 goals total; less than a goal a game on average. This performance gained the respect of the Ohio soccer community, earning Stoller All-OCC and All-District team honors, as well as second-team All-State honors. Stoller points to his work off the field to allow him to be successful on the field.

“During quarantine, I worked hard with my goalie coach a lot in order to get better,” Stoller says.

Stoller also points to the team’s ability to come together as a unit as the reason for its success on the field. In his Sophomore year, he was the starting goalkeeper after transferring from St. Charles Preparatory Academy, but the team lost in the first round of the 2019 playoffs.

“Sophomore year, our team, we were good, we had the skill, we just didn’t come together”, says Stoller. “Junior and Senior year, we all kind of came together, the team has been really close both those years, we just worked together as a team”.

Stoller doesn’t hesitate to give credit to his teammates, stating that, “We had some big players step up in some big positions, and then I just really had to do my job. I was lucky to play with some great guys.”

Despite ending the season with silver around his neck instead of gold, Stoller can look back on his high school career and be proud. As a three-year varsity starter, he was able to lead his team to the district title his junior season, and to the District Final his senior campaign. The Regional Final he and the team reached last season is arguably the most impressive feat the program has accomplished since winning the State Championship in 2001. Back-to-back wins against rival Kilbourne, the victory his Junior year being the first time the Cardinals had prevailed in nine straight attempts, show how much Stoller has helped to change the direction of the program in his three years at Thomas Worthington.

On his future in the sport after high school, Stoller says that he is “excited to play college soccer at a competitive school” as well as being “excited to play club with some really good players this winter and spring.” Furthermore cementing his loyalty to the Thomas Worthington soccer program, Stoller adds that he is “also looking forward to coming back and working with the younger guys next summer.”