By Mason Nesbitt
For The Signal
Early this season, The Master’s University women’s soccer team agreed on a goal celebration that would incorporate the entirety of its squad.
So, each time a Mustang scores in 2019, they hustle toward the bench and pass by a group of teammates lining the sideline, each offering a high-five.
“I think it’s cool how it brings everyone into the celebration,” said sophomore forward Kyndel Borman. “A lot of people just run off to the corner to celebrate or celebrate with the person who gave them the ball. But we really try to bring the whole team into the game, and I think that’s what’s so cool about it.”
Borman made the celebratory trip to the sideline three times Monday, and she wasn’t alone. Four different Mustangs found the back of the net in a 7-0 win over Providence Christian College at TMU. It was the Mustangs’ largest scoring output since Sept. 16, 2018, and the six first-half goals were the program’s most in a period since 2009.
The Mustangs improved to 4-2-2, and, they hope, earned a large dose of confidence in their ability to shoot from all over the attacking third. Monday certainly went a long way in helping Master’s reach 50 goals for the season, a mark it sees as a near-sure ticket to the NAIA tournament.
Sarah Stead and Kayla Sims each scored once against Providence. Hannah Bahr did so twice, recording her first multi-goal game as a Mustang. And Borman’s hat trick was the first of her career and the program’s first three-goal performance since Jasmine Logan’s late last season.
“I went out there today and my goal was to score at least two, and then the third one just came,” Borman said. “I wasn’t just looking to score, but to get my teammates to score too. I think it was a good day.”
It also was a good day for breaking down one of the Mustangs’ key offensive concepts, a strategy they call “framing the goal” and the way by which they scored their first two goals Monday.
The idea is that when one Mustang attempts a shot, her teammates should strategically space themselves around the goal, each prepared for a rebound or ricochet: one near each post, and two at the top of the 6-yard box.
“If the keeper doesn’t catch it or if it rebounds off the post,” Borman said, “then we’re there to finish it.”
Anay Garcia’s shot in the 16th minute was saved by Providence keeper Lindsey Clayton, but the ball caromed right to Sarah Stead, who scored her third goal of the year.
Seventy seconds later, Kayla Monick’s try banged off the post and found its way to Bahr, who finished for her first goal of the season. Monick did not score Monday, but Lewis felt the junior might have been the team’s best forward in the first half.
“She was everywhere, doing exactly what I wanted her to do, pressing well, positioning herself well,” Lewis said.
Bahr scored again in the 28th minute, and Sims scored off an assist from Alexis Mendoza in the 30th minute. Each time, the Mustang who scored headed for high-fives along the sideline. It was a busy route, as the first half matched TMU’s highest-scoring period since Sept. 4, 2009, when the Mustangs scored nine goals in the first half of a 14-0 win over Southwestern College (now Arizona Christian).
“I think (the celebration) has brought good team camaraderie,” Lewis said. “It’s the first year we’ve done it. It’s been kind of fun to get everyone involved in the goal. It’s exciting for the entire team.”