Right time, right place for freshman Madigan

Freshman midfielder Taylor Madigan started the spring off right with two goals in two games on April 2. Tribune File Photo.

During the 2010 season, the Marquette women’s soccer team averaged 1.84 goals per game.  In the first two games of the spring season, freshman midfielder Taylor Madigan scored four goals in two games to open the spring season on April 2.

In her first season at Marquette, Madigan played in all of the Golden Eagles’ 24 games and started 16 of those.  In that time, she posted four goals and two assists for a total of 10 points.

Madigan said her scoring outburst was the result of hard work off the field and being in the right place at the right time. She gave the example of one lucky bounce off of an opponent that found her in the right position.

“I happened to be there and I could just poke it in,” Madigan said.  “But I think working hard throughout practices and going to shooting practices has really helped, too.”

When Madigan was recruited, coach Markus Roeders liked that she could score goals for herself as well as set up others. She’s a player with many talents, and he said “the sky is the limit” for her.

“Not only can she play in the middle of the field, but she can play the attacking role,” Roeders said. “I thought the last couple weeks she’s shown her versatility.  She showed that in the fall, but we’re always looking for that consistency.

“She may not impress people with her height, but she can make up for it with her quickness and skill. She can take players one-on-one and score goals and get assists.  We want her to become a more prevalent goal scorer, playmaker and a leader.”

Madigan said college soccer is completely different than high school or club soccer and as she’s spent more time at Marquette, it’s gotten easier to adjust.

“You have to work hard every day,” Madigan said. “You can’t take anything lightly because everyone here is so competitive. It’s a much more competitive environment (than I’ve ever experienced).”

Freshman forward Maegan Kelly said since the fall season, she’s seen Madigan mature off the field, which has made her a better player and teammate on the field.

“(At the beginning of the year) she was really good at just playing and doing her thing,” Kelly said. “She’s progressed with communication and talking with people outside of the game — (telling us) what we need to do differently to make something else happen or just give out information that would help the team grow with movement of the ball and stuff like that.”

Kelly would like to see her fellow freshman be more verbal on the field.

“Off the field she’ll communicate and tell you stuff, but when she’s on the field or in the moment (she could be) more assertive,” Kelly said.

Roeders said the next three spring matches will illuminate what can be expected from Madigan this fall because all three opponents are “talented” and will “provide good competition.”

Marquette plays Illinois and Wisconsin this Sunday, both teams out of the Big Ten. Marquette follows that up with Notre Dame, which won the 2010 national championship, this Tuesday.