MADISON _ Madison girls soccer doesn't like to draw a lot of attention but, with early season victories over Morris Catholic and Mountain Lakes, the Dodgers may not have a choice but to be noticed.
A 4-1 victory over Morris Catholic on Sept. 15 is a case in point.
Sadie Kim scored twice and Kate Christos and Brooke Kleiven added scores for the Dodgers. Madison is off to a 3-1 start.
"I don't think there were high expectations for us but they weren't low either,'' Kim said. “We aren't considered the top team. I think we are a team under the radar."
Madison's win versus the Crusaders came after a 2-0 triumph over Morristown-Beard. Christos thought it was crucial for the team to build off its victories.
"We played really well the last game and to follow that up and keep the momentum going was pretty important," Christos said.
Christos got her team off to a good start. She connected in traffic in the 23rd minute with a right-footed shot into the right corner of the net to make it 1-0.
"There was a through long ball and I ran a diagonal run. There was a defender behind me and the goalie came out," Christos said, describing her goal. “I just hit it to the far-right bottom corner. I was about 18 yards away, just inside the box. I just kind of tapped it."
If the Dodgers are to succeed, midfielders will have to play a major role in not only setting tempo but also giving their teammates quality possessions and services to finish.
"Our midfield is Leah Rutland, Grace Keane, me and sometimes Katie Geraghty and we are always looking to hit through balls and looking for each other's feet," Christos said. "We have such good chemistry so it is always working well."
Madison has a quality finisher in Kim. Her first goal came on a free kick after Lauren Kaye was tripped up on a run. Her kick from the left side of the field from about 25 yards bent into the right corner of the net past the Crusaders goalie who couldn't punch it away.
"You just have to breathe and keep calm," Kim said. "You have to feel in the game and in the moment. Not necessarily this goalie but that repetition beforehand for free kicks in the game. Preparation makes a difference."
Morris Catholic would make it a 2-1 game with a goal five seconds before halftime, but it didn't affect the Dodgers' momentum. Kim made it a 3-1 game in the 50th minute. She got her foot on a Grace Keane corner kick, the ball deflected off a defender but Kim didn't give up on the play. She gathered the rebound and fired it into the right side of the net.
“I just had to finish it,'' Kim said. “You've got to want it.''
The Dodgers received an insurance goal in the 59th minute by Kleiven, a tireless worker, who could be torturing opposing defenses for years to come.
"Brookie is a freshman," Christos said. “This is her second goal. She is a lefty and she scored with her right foot which is so amazing. She really helps a lot."
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