When The Master’s University beat Sierra Nevada of Lake Tahoe, 7-0, Thursday, it was a solid start to the season. But it meant a little extra to forward Kellian Ahearn. Not only was it her first game back with the Mustang women’s soccer team after two ACL tears, but it was also her first game with the team after her father’s death in March. “It was really emotional,” Ahearn said. “I just tried to play for him and I love him so much and today was just all for him.”
Her dad’s initials and a Bible verse adorned the white athletic tape on her wrist, a gesture that seemed to bring some luck to the senior, who had a goal and an assist in the game. She was one of six different players to score against the Eagles in TMU’s season-opener. The Mustangs got out to a slow start in comparison in the first half, scoring only one goal. “You can control your attitude, you can control your effort,” said TMU coach Curtis Lewis. “You can’t always control the ref, the other team, the playing conditions. We just talked at halftime that you’ve got to control your effort.” Without scrimmages to prepare them for the season, TMU shook off the rust quickly heading into the second half. Hailey Gomillion scored in the 33rd minute off a pass from Tara Aalem. Sarah Stead scored in the 51st minute, and Ahearn tacked on an unassisted goal one minute later. Kaylee Poffek capitalized on a deflection inside the box, then defender Gianna Crimi scored her first collegiate goal after taking the ball from nearly midfield and shooting from outside the 18-yard box. “I just decided to go forward, then there was a bad touch from one of my players,” Crimi said. “I took it, took a cut outside and then just went for it and I was just hoping for the best.” With Crimi’s goal, the Mustangs had produced points from the attacking, defending and middle thirds. Alexis Sorrell added another goal in the 87th minute for good measure. “I know this team is going to go far this year, and if we just do the fundamentals and like, keep close with each other off the field, I know we’re going to go really far this year,” Ahearn said. TMU next plays Northwest of Washington on Saturday morning at TMU.