By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun
8:00 AM EDT, October 3, 2013
With four saves in a 1-0 overtime loss to Lafayette on Sept. 25, Lauren Kadet became the all-time leader in saves for the UMBC women’s soccer team. The journey there has been just as memorable for the senior goalkeeper.
In her first three years, the Retrievers limped their way through losing campaigns, going 2-14-1 in 2010, 0-14-3 in 2011 and 1-11-5 in 2012. This season, however, the team is 5-4-2, and Kadet can now look back at the program’s struggles with a smile.
"It’s pretty meaningful," Kadet said of her 348 saves, which surpassed Nadine Henchcliffe’s 339 stops. "It’s my personal goal. Our team wasn’t that successful when I came in as a freshman. So you kind of had to make your own side goals. People kept asking me, 'How do you keep showing up for games with so much energy?' I was like, 'Because you set your own goals.'
"So even if the team is coming out and saying, 'We’re going to lose,' you’ve got to stay positive. So it feels good to actually have a goal work out for you."
Kadet – who has posted a 0.95 goals-against average this year (which would be a career best) and tied a career-high three shutouts – has been forced to make a lot of saves for UMBC.
"I didn't really look at it that way," she said. "I looked at it more so as I would look at how many saves I would make and look at shots against me and then also look at the score. There’s been a couple games where I’ve pulled away with 13 saves and looked at the scoreboard, and we came away with a tie.
"You kind of feel good. You feel good about yourself. Those saves that you know you need to make, it’s great that you made those saves, and that's what kept the score 0-0."
Kadet’s presence as the last line of the defense has provided coach Leslie Wray with a high level of comfort. But she also doesn’t want the defense to rely on Kadet too often.
"It's been a blessing to have someone that's so steady in the back and so confident and has come up so big for us," Wray said. "It’s easy with a keeper that can stop breakaways and can make so many saves to be complacent in the back, and we don’t want to get to that level. We don’t want her to have to make those hard saves, although she does.
"There have been times when we've gotten split, and there's breakaways she's come up big on this year. But that means we're not doing our job. … There are challenges to that as well, making sure that Lauren is at the top of her game with all aspects. But knowing that she's got seven more games left, we're not going to change a whole lot. I think the back line knows that, too."
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun