WPFC Alumna voted GNAC Defensive Player of the Year
WPFC Alumna Maddie Dickinson Sets SPU Shutout Record
(2010) - Senior goalkeeper Maddie Dickinson made two saves to earn her record-setting 26th career shutout as fifth-ranked Seattle Pacific played to a 0-0 double overtime tie with Simon Fraser in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference women’s soccer game at Interbay Stadium. Dickinson (Vancouver, Wash./Skyview HS) broke the previous SPU career shutout record set by Jennifer Hull from 2001-03.
“She was fantastic tonight. The one chance they had she snuffed out on the corner with a brilliant save,” SPU coach Chuck Sekyra said of Dickinson.
“I have to give it to Jenn Hull. Jenn Hull was a great player for a long time and somebody that I enjoyed coaching here. For Maddie to break her record says everything about Maddie Dickinson. What a great goalkeeper and great person. We need about 12 more shutouts from Maddie this year.”
It was around the time she got to high school that Maddie Dickinson came to grips with the ultimate fact of a soccer goalkeeper’s life:
“Goals are going to happen, no matter what – you can’t save everything,” she said.
In 32 of 45 games Dickinson has stepped between the pipes for Seattle Pacific, goals haven’t happened – and she has saved everything. And with 25 of those shutouts being fully credited to her, Dickinson has tied the Falcons’ record for most career clean sheets heading into Thursday night’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference showdown against Western Washington at Interbay Stadium.
“She’s one of those keepers where if all 10 players fell down in front of her, I’d still put my money on Maddie,” SPU head coach Chuck Sekyra said. “BYU Hawaii had one amazing chance (in a 0-0 tie on Sept. 8) and she stuffed them.
“She’s very athletic, she’s very skilled, and she’s very confident – and she works hard to keep all three of those things at a high level,” Sekyra added.
The 5-foot-8 Dickinson (Vancouver, Wash./Skyview HS) has played all 759 minutes in the net for No. 5-ranked Seattle Pacific (7-0-1, 2-0-0 GNAC) this season.
Suffice to say, however, that she’s most anticipating the 90 minutes that will be on the Interbay scoreboard Thursday night when perennial rival Western comes calling. The Falcons have gone just 1-2-2 against the Vikings in the past two years – while going 44-2-3 against everyone else.
“We are so excited. It’s always a great battle between us,” Dickinson said. “They get up for the game, we get up for the game. I’m a little more active on my line. But those are the games you look forward to – being able to compete with a team like that and hopefully winning at the end.”
With Dickinson doing her job as the last line of defense, the Falcons always have a chance to finish on top. Of the 34 shots on frame by this season’s first eight opponents, just two have gotten past her. She has stopped the other 32, and has six shutouts in 2010 – the most recent of which came last Saturday in a 6-0 rout at Western Oregon.
That made it 25 for her career, tying the team standard set by Jennifer Hull over the course of 62 games from 2001-03.
“It’s really a great honor – and something I have to think about a little bit,” Dickinson said. “Shutouts are always my goal. But I have to give a lot of credit to my defense.”
Senior defender Becca Woods (Beaverton, Ore.) and her back line teammates make it their priority to keep Dickinson’s night as quiet as possible. But on those occasions when an opponent does put the ball into the danger zone, Woods never has a doubt that Dickinson can clean it up.
“I have a ridiculous amount of confidence in my defending, knowing that she’s behind me. I know she’s going to have my back, whether it’s a forward getting loose to get the shot off, or me dropping the ball to her for a clearance when facing my own goal,” Woods said of the teammate she refers to as “The Great M-Dizzle.”
“The best part about her is that she’s not content with how great she already is,” Woods added. “Her personality won’t settle for anything less than excellence. Her communication and aggression and leadership and focus are unlike any other keeper I’ve ever played with.”
GNAC Player-of-the-Year – Jill Webb, Saint Martin’s.
GNAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year – Maddie Dickinson, Seattle Pacific.
GNAC Newcomer-of-the-Year – Kendall Thoreson, Seattle Pacific
GNAC Freshman-of-the-Year – Kellie Zakrzewski, Seattle Pacific
GNAC Coach-of-the-Year – Don Trentham, Montana State Billings
2010 GNAC Women’s Soccer All-Star Team
First Team Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown
FROM HALFWAY TO ALL IN
During their formative years when players typically take a try at all positions, most players cringe at the thought of having go in at goalkeeper. Not so for Dickinson – at least not completely.
“In club I decided I wanted to be half and half,” she said. “I still wanted to play on the field and score and do all those fun things. But I was good at goalkeeping.”
During State Cup play when she was 12, the Timbers’ regular keeper moved away in the middle of the tournament. Just like that, the job belonged to Dickinson – full-time.
“In the next game, we went to a PK shootout. I prevented a goal, I saved a PK, they carried me off the field – and I never looked back after that,” she said.
To say Dickinson took the long road to reach the level she is at now wouldn’t be much of a stretch. At age 16, she and four other Vancouver-area girls started playing with the Tacoma-based F.C. Royals, making the round-trip four or five days a week.
“We became the carpool group – a two-hour trip (each way) for a 1½-hour practice,” Dickinson said. “I went from school to the carpool site, slept on the way there and did homework on the way back.”
Initially, Seattle Pacific wasn’t on Dickinson’s college radar screen – “I wanted to be far away, do something brand new,” she said. But gradually, that mindset did a 180.
“I love Seattle. SPU has had a history of great seasons and was somewhere I thought I could make strides and contribute.”
As a sophomore in 2008, that contribution included all 107 minutes, 47 seconds of the NCAA Division II championship game in Tampa, Fla. SPU won the title by downing top-ranked and undefeated West Florida, 1-0, on Janae Godoy’s goal in the waning minutes of the second and final sudden-death overtime.
“That was probably the best athletic day of my life,” Dickinson said. “It was so nerve-wracking, but so exciting. …When Janae’s goal went in, it took me about 15 seconds to figure it out and sprint down and get into the dogpile.”
From there, Dickinson has kept making strides, and making contributions from her spot on the goal line.
“Experience is a huge thing – just being able to read the game and understand what’s starting to develop as they come down the field, and predict and prevent certain circumstances from happening,” she said. “You can’t let goals get to you. If you get scored on, you have to get up and get over it, because the game’s still going on”
Or, if you don’t get scored on …
… it’s just another day between the pipes for Maddie Dickinson.