Luke Hare, Staff Writer
The Saint Martin’s women’s soccer team is closing the 2018 year. Leading the Saints is Kiersten Madsen, with five goals and three assists. Not far behind is a tie for second between Shea McKnight and Kylee Sarchett who both have four goals and two assists. Seeing most of the time at goalie is senior Ali Koehler, who is now third all-time in the SMU Women’s Soccer record book in career saves with 206, second for most goalie games started with 43, and second in shutouts with five. With the last quarter of the season still to be played, the Saints have not come close to throwing away the season. There are still three conference games remaining and the Saints look to finish on a winning note.
“We are looking at our last four games as a new season,” said Koehler. “We want to learn from the mistakes we have made earlier in the season and be true to our style of play. We want to end on a high note an continue to get better every day.”
Fellow senior, Sarchett, is on the same page and wants to continue to keep the season moving forward.
“Our goals are just to continue to get better every game while finishing with the results we want and deserve,” said Sarchett.
All of these goals, no pun intended, are possible with the way that they have started to pick their game up starting in the second half of league play. In their last five games, despite going 1-4, they lost two of those four games by one goal with one of the games against Central Washington University going into double overtime. A lot of this has to do with the changes they made midway through the season.
“On the pitch, we have become a much more versatile team,” said Sarchett. “We have developed multiple systems of play to use to our advantage. We have cut the number of goals scored on us in half, which has a lot to do with our goalies stepping up their game, as well as our defenders, and our ball control. We have also doubled the number of goals scored, and this is still with two games to go.”
“This year, we came up with three values that relate to us: love, care, and serve. If we love each other, care about each other, and serve each other, the results will play out on their own.”
Koehler agrees with Sarchett that a lot of this has to do with how they have put in the time off the pitch and toward team chemistry.
“Off the field there is a new love and pride to be a part of this program,” said Koehler. “The team chemistry has benefited the most throughout the season and I think it roots from the investment that we have in each other.”
With this being Koehler and Sarchett’s last year stepping on the collegiate pitch for Saint Martin’s, they have begun to realize that this is more than just them talking about their memories of playing soccer. This is about being a leader to the underclassmen and letting them know how this is more than just a game and that they should take full advantage of what they are blessed with being able to do.
“Step on the field each day with the mindset that I am going to make my teammates better today,” said Koehler. “If you’re pushing yourself to make others better, then everyone benefits because they will return the favor to you.”
Sarchett believes in the same idea and is doing everything she can to not only take in her last few games, but also to display and show the returners for next year that this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I would tell all underclassmen going forward to never take a moment for granted,” said Sarchett. “Make the best of every 6:00 a.m. workout, every six-hour bus ride, and every double day we have. Being a collegiate athlete is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it goes by faster than you can imagine.”