COLLEGE PARK, Md. — It wasn't long ago that Matt Waldoch was working shifts at Leadbelly's and playing club soccer. On Saturday, he made his first experience as a college football kicker a memorable one.
The 6-foot sophomore from Geneva, Illinois, hit all three of his field goal attempts — each from 29 yards — and went 6 for 6 on extra points.
He earned a spot with the Huskers after the president of the NU soccer club reached out to him to try out earlier this season.
Nebraska coaches stressed at that tryout that anything was possible with hard work.
"I figured, just gotta wait for an opportunity," Waldoch said.
That chance came Saturday when the Huskers left starting kicker Barret Pickering in Lincoln for an undisclosed health reason. Coach Scott Frost's advice was to enjoy the moment.
Waldoch said he had been ready to play for a while. But he said he's worked to achieve better consistency and in how he elevates his kicks — his first attempts as a Husker looked more like cross-field soccer passes than high lofting balls.
"Would have been fun trying a longer (kick)," Waldoch said. "But it was good."
Another walk-on kicker, Harrison Martin, added an 18-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. The senior and Lincoln Lutheran graduate has been on the team for a few weeks, though it wasn’t known publicly until Saturday.