Not even two weeks into the season, goalkeeper Madi Wilson for the Piedmont women’s soccer team, has proven she is ready to play by being recognized as defensive player of the week from USA South.
“It was definitely a well-deserved win,” says former Piedmont goalkeeper Miranda McNalley. “I look forward to seeing more shutouts from her and more awards given this season.”
A lot of pressure has been put on Wilson’s shoulders this season, as McNalley played her final season last spring in 2021. McNalley played a total of 14 games and 1,174 minutes last season with giving up only 17 goals after having 114 shots taken on her. After having a conference winning season, Wilson is expected to have just as good, if not better season than McNalley. Wilson is a sophomore this year and with two freshman goalkeepers joining the team, she is expected to be a leader, which she has already proved she is ready to do.
McNalley has returned to Piedmont after graduating to help the team and specifically help the goalkeepers. McNalley’s knowledge and experience from playing on this team could be extremely helpful to the team this season. Wilson and McNalley already have a strong relationship from being teammates last season, so a good chemistry of working together has already been created.
“Getting the opportunity to help out the goalkeepers is really great,” McNalley said. “After playing in goal and being able to share my experiences is an awesome opportunity that [head coach] Timmy has given me.”
Last season, Wilson appeared in five games, which four of these she started in. She totaled 270 minutes and only gave up three goals. Already this season, Wilson has played over 200 minutes and hasn’t given up a single goal. In the lady lions’ conference, for goalkeepers, Wilson currently holds first place for goals against, save percentage and losses against.
Wilson has already shown to her coaches and teammates that she means business this season. With an incredible start to the season with not only amazing stats, but being recognized so early on from their conference, is a major step in the right direction, not only for Wilson herself, but for her entire team.
“She sees the field very well and has a great relationship with her back line,” says assistant Coach Stephanie Lamm. “Sometimes she doubts herself when she shouldn’t because she absolutely has the skill to win.”
This is Lamm’s first season with the lady lions and she already expects big things from Wilson this year. Lamm said, “I see her being a leader since she’s already seen a whole college season, not to mention under COVID, so she knows what to expect but also understands anything can happen.” Not only are her coaches expecting to see big results from her, but she will have younger eyes on her this season as the incoming freshman keepers expect to see big results from her as well.
“Being the oldest [goalkeeper] makes me feel like I have a responsibility to take the freshman [goalkeepers] under my wing and fill that leadership role,” says Wilson. “But receiving defensive player of the week was a really good confidence booster which makes me excited to compete for another conference championship this season and hopefully take the team to nationals.”