Five SMC women's soccer players celebrate in September 2023

NCAA Soccer Names the Gaels Its Team of the Week

Saint Mary’s shut out Top-25 Washington State and scored six goals against Eastern Washington

by SMC Athletics | September 12, 2023

Saint Mary’s Women’s Soccer was named the NCAA Soccer Women’s Team of the Week for September 12 after going 2–0 in their Washington road trip, including an upset of No. 15 Washington State and racking up six goals against Eastern Washington.


Caging the Cougars

The Gaels shut out out Washington State 1–0 on September 7 to hand them their first loss of the season. It was SMC’s first win over a top-25 ranked team since 2011 when they beat No. 11 UC Irvine.

The Gaels wasted no time letting the Cougars know they were there to play, with Briana Salvetti’s hustle goal in the third minute proving to be the game winner. Washington State played the ball back to their keeper Nadia Cooper in the third minute after some initial pressure from Kyllie Glock, just expecting a ho-hum, run of the mill set up from her.

But Salvetti applied pressure by remaining in Cooper’s space, continuing to pursue possession and forcing her to dribble away from Salvetti. That led to Cooper fumbling the ball between her legs and losing her footing, which allowed Salvetti to come up with the ball. In one motion the Gaels leading scorer thumped the ball into the back of the net for her fourth goal of the season. Just like that it was a 1–0 lead for Saint Mary’s.

That goal would be SMC’s only shot on frame of their eight taken, but they made it stick. Taylor Poland was solid in goal for Saint Mary’s, making five saves for her second shutout of the season and 19th as a Gael.

Grounding the Eagles

The six goals SMC scored against Eastern Washington on September 10 are the second-most in a single game in program history, just behind the seven goals scored in October of 1994 against Gonzaga.

The Gaels actually trailed early on in the game, allowing Eastern Washington to take a 1–0 lead. But Saint Mary's answered 23 minutes in. A Gaels corner was headed out of the box by EWU, but the ball ended up on the feet of Savannah Schwarze, who took two touches and fired it low past the keeper.

That equalizer was just the beginning, as the Gaels scored again 10 minutes later—thanks to Emmie Ennis’ first collegiate goal. Sydney Middaugh also scored her first collegiate goal in the 38th minute to make it 3-1 Gaels going into the half. Schwarze scored again to put the Gaels up 4–1 in the 55th minute.

EWU answered with a goal just two minutes later to bring it back to a two-goal lead. The Eagles put another in the back of the net in the 63rd minute to cut it to a one-goal game. But The Gaels were able to regain their two-goal on a pair of penalty kicks by Salvetti for the 6–3 win. The two-goal games were both career firsts for Schwarze and Salvetti.

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