To say the St. Catherine University soccer team and sophomore midfielder Kaitlin Machovec ‘19 (Woodbury, Minn./North St. Paul) saved the best for last might be a bit of an understatement. The Wildcats clinched their second straight berth to the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) playoffs with two shutout wins over Saint Mary’s University and Concordia College behind Machovec’s strong offensive week. For her efforts, Machovec has been named the Wildcat Athlete of the Week.
After a disappointing 4-2 loss to Gustavus on October 22, the Wildcats needed to close out the season with two wins in order to clinch a spot in the MIAC playoffs. Standing in the way of those two wins, though, were Saint Mary’s and Concordia, two teams already eliminated from the playoff picture with nothing to lose.
St. Kate’s took care of business on Wednesday in the final home game of the regular season, thanks to Machovec’s strong play. The sophomore midfielder had an assist on the first goal of the game to give the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquish. Then, in the second half, Machovec scored her fifth goal of the season to secure St. Kate’s 5-0 victory.
On Saturday, the Wildcats once again found themselves in a must-win situation against Concordia. Thanks to Machovec, St. Kate’s did just that. After the first half ended in a 0-0 tie, Machovec scored her fourth goal in three games to put St. Kate's up 1-0 at 63:24. While that would prove to be enough for the Wildcats, Machovec assisted on an insurance goal from Nicole Palsgrove '19 (Maple Grove, Minn./Wayzeta) exactly three minutes later and scored her second goal of the game in the 75th minute to seal the Wildcats 3-0 victory.
Since October 22, Machovec has been the top scorer for St. Kate’s with five goals and three assists for 13 total points. She is currently second on the team this season in goals (7) and points (20) and leads the team in assists (6).
Machovec and the Wildcats will not only play in a MIAC playoff game this Tuesday at 2 p.m. The team is set to host defending champ Gustavus at 2 p.m. at St. Kate’s Fields, making it the first time in program history St. Kate’s has hosted a MIAC soccer playoff game.