Nathan Pearsall, Staff Writer
The Saint Martin’s women’s soccer team is off to one of the best starts in recent years. At 4-2 overall, they find themselves having already topped last year’s win total of two.
Through their six games, the Saints have been led by sophomore midfielder Kiersten Madsen, the younger sister of men’s Saints star Brandon Madsen. She leads the Saints with five goals and 12 total points off 27 total shots. She also has two assists, which is tied with fellow midfielder and junior, Shea McKnight, and senior forward, Kylee Sarchett.
These three have accounted for 10 of the Saints’ 13 goals on the season through the first six games, and look to be a force in the future as the Saints enter GNAC play.
To begin the season, the Saints opened with a pair of nice wins against Corban University (Ore.), and Northwest Christian University. Madsen and McKnight both showed off their offensive prowess with two goals each through two games. Unfortunately, the offense slowed when The Academy of Art came to town.
While the Saints showed their ball control, and maintained possession for most of the game, the Saints fell to the Urban Knights 2-0. “Academy of Art is a quality side, but we took too long to get things going,” said Saints second-year coach Heather Cato.
The Saints however bounced back strong with a 2-1 win over Holy Names University, and then their best win of the year so far with a 3-2 win over The Evergreen State College. As the newest rivalry began, the Geoducks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, putting all the pressure on the Saints. After regrouping at halftime, Sarchett scored her first goal of the year in the 56th minute, making it a one-score game. The Geoducks tucked back as the Saints came alive. 13 minutes later, McKnight netted the equalizer.
As the game entered the golden goal overtime, the defense played the biggest role of the game. Goalkeeper Sara Christensen kept SMU in the game with an important save which led to the Saints outbreak and game winning goal by Sarchett to cap off an incredible comeback win. This also gives the Saints their best non-conference start in school history.
The Saints took their 4-1 start to Northwest Nazarene University on Sept. 15. After Madsen scored the first goal within the first ten minutes, the Nighthawks took over and never looked back, scoring six unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 victory over the Saints.
While SMU goes back to the drawing board, they also look to build off of their historic beginning and make a push through conference play to the playoffs.