The UMary soccer team is quickly ascending as a top team in the Northern Sun, led by a tough defensive style, and a record-setting goalie that is making her final season with the Marauders count.

There’s no simpler strategy in sports than preventing the other team from scoring. Easier said than done, but for UMary’s Madisyn Waltman, it’s a way of life that started early in her career.

“When I was younger, I played basketball,” says Waltman. “So I was the only one willing to stand in the goal and get kicked at and I was fine with it. I thought it was really fun.”

When Waltman got to Bismarck, she made the most of her opportunities. During her freshman year, she secured a pair of shutouts that caught the eye of one legendary Marauder goalkeeper.

“Kristen Werner was at one of our games and said ‘Hey, you can do this. go out and get it,” says Waltman. “And I was like ‘okay, guess this is something I can do so she really inspired me to go out and chase for it, so really grateful for that.”

Fast forward to 2022, Waltman has now broken the school record for career shutouts at 26, previously held by Werner after a 2-0 win over Black Hills State.

“So actually after that game, I called Kristen Werner, we facetimed her and Madisyn was there, just letting her know that she broke the record,” says HC Sarah Cook. “Quite an achievement because back in the day, we played a lot more games.”

The fifth-year senior says when she’s in the zone, the game goes by quick, avoiding a peek at the running clock in any game she plays.

“You know, when it comes to making saves, you don’t really think. You just do,” says Waltman. “And when you start thinking too much and you get in your own head, that’s when you limit yourself and that’s when you make mistakes, so I’ve just allowed my instincts to kick in and just trust myself when situations arise.”

Waltman wants her final season to be special, knowing that this Marauder team can be capable of something historic.

“Getting deep into the NSIC Tournament, and then if we’re regionally and nationally ranked, getting an automatic bid into the national tournament for division two,” says Waltman. “That’s the expectation and that’s what I hope to accomplish, and it’s not going to come from just me, it’s going to be a whole team thing.”

“She’s going to be an outstanding teaching, she’s going to be an excellent coach and just a great role model,” says Cook. “She definitely makes me proud and is a great representative of who we aspire to be.”

Waltman and the Marauders are back in action on September 9th… when they open NSIC play at home against St. Cloud State.