Jackson Schierbeek can thank his family, teachers and friends for supporting him in his academic and athletic pursuits. But the Crossroads School senior said his plans to play collegiate soccer would not have come to fruition without the help of Ian Feuer.

Schierbeek will soon head off to St. Lawrence University in New York, where he’ll join the men’s soccer program as a goalkeeper.

It’s a future that he said would not have been possible without his three years of training under Feuer, a former professional goalkeeper in the U.S. and England who has coached in the LA Galaxy organization.

“He’s developed me into the goalkeeper I am today,” Schierbeek said. “He focuses a lot on the mental aspects of the game. It’s a very underrated part of the game that people don’t focus on too much, but it’s valuable. It shows in the way that I play.”

Schierbeek expects to continue working all facets of the sport with the Saints, who compete in Division III as a member of the Liberty League. They posted an overall record of 16-4-2 this past season under Mike Toshack, a former goalkeeper coach with the Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer. The current goalkeeper coach at St. Lawrence, Chris Custer, worked alongside Toshack in Portland.

Schierbeek adds to a roster that featured five California products and four goalies this past season.

A Mar Vista resident who attended Ocean Charter School in Los Angeles before enrolling at Crossroads for high school, Schierbeek played recreational baseball and basketball as a youngster but gravitated toward soccer by about age 10. He traced the start of his goalkeeping career to his time in AYSO nearly a decade ago.

“The coach said, ‘Who wants to be goalie?’ and I raised my hand,” he said. “I’ve just stuck with it since then.”

A fan of professional goalies like Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel, Schierbeek has played club soccer with FC Los Angeles and trained extensively with Feuer. He said he was recruited as a Division I prospect as a sophomore.

“It’s a big confidence booster,” he said. “Growing up as a soccer player, it was always a goal of mine to play through college at the very least. So being recruited by a D-I was an eye-opening moment for me.”

But Schierbeek said he wanted to be able to focus on his collegiate coursework without being overwhelmed by his athletic commitments, which led him to consider D-III programs. He hopes to study biology and kinesiology with the intent of pursuing a career as an athletic trainer or physical therapist.

As a key contributor at Crossroads, Schierbeek said he’s had a “fantastic” experience playing with friends under coach Federico Bianchi. He added that it’ll take time for him to adjust to the demands of collegiate soccer.

“Being a goalkeeper takes a unique person and a unique character,” he said, “and I think I fit that bill.”

jeff@www.smdp.com