Lyon productive in first season

Elias Albert, Staff Reporter

Freshman goalkeeper, Maddie Lyon has 73 saves and a 2.44 GAA this season.
Elias Albert
Freshman goalkeeper, Maddie Lyon has 73 saves and a 2.44 GAA this season.

There are a handful of positions in sports that take a special type of composure. Quarterbacks, pitchers and goalkeepers come to mind.

That composure is something that Eastern goalkeeper Maddie Lyon longs for and shown plenty of thus far this season.

She leads the Ohio Valley Conference in total saves, 73, and saves per game, 8.11. In addition, she has posted a 76 percent save rate.

Her save numbers also rank her within the national top-ten for saves per game.

For Lyon, she expects things to only get better, as she’s determined to dominate within conference play.

“As far as goals go, I’d like to record a few shutouts,” Lyon said. “I’d like to get at least two or three shutouts against teams that play in our conference.”

Lyon’s goals are optimistic, but definitely realistic, as coach Jason Cherry feels.

“She’s got some height on her side,” Cherry said. “But on top of that, we feel that she has what it takes to start at goal for us.”

That height that Cherry speaks of is Lyon’s 6-foot-one frame, which happens to be the tallest amongst the whole team, not just the goalkeepers.

Previous to coming to Eastern, Lyon attended Horlick High School in Racine, Wis. During her time there, Lyon was a key piece to their pursuit of success.

Lyon manned the goal for her team during her junior year and helped them post a 20-6-1 record. She earned conference and area recognition for her efforts and production, recording 14 clean sheets and allowing less than one goal per game.

Also, Lyon was on her school’s volleyball starting lineup. According to MaxPreps, her team went 31-16 during her senior year.

She wants that same sort of production out of herself and her team here at Eastern.

“This year, it’s been a bit of a regrouping process,” Lyon said. “We’re all learning as we go and I know that I have a lot to learn too.”

When it came to joining this team, it was an easy choice for Lyon.

Cherry made an effort to get both Lyon and her former high school teammate, Eastern freshman midfielder Kaci Schonert.

To Lyon, having a familiar face join her and a coach that liked early-on was more than enough to bring her to Eastern.

“I love it here,” Lyon said. “I love the size of the school and the culture around here. On top of that, I loved the coaches, which is really what got me to come down here.”

Cherry said having Lyon on the team has been an excellent thing thus far.

“She’s a very respectful girl who’s always willing to learn and get better,” Cherry said. “She’s got some good years ahead of her.”

Lyon also enjoys just simply being around her teammates. To her, it’s a lot easier to get along and communicate when everyone is close and open with each other.

“It’s just one big family,” Lyon said. “We do everything together. There’s no cliques here and there. It’s just one big, close-knit group.”

But, even with everyone being so close, Lyon and her fellow goalkeepers have come together and formed what she calls the “G-Unit.”

She said that the four goalkeepers on the team are constantly helping each other to improve and develop each other’s skill. It is also a group that actively participates in healthy competition for the starting spot in front of the goal.

To Cherry, he loves his set of goalkeepers and the competition between them, but feels that Lyon has earned her starting spot.

“It’s honestly anyone’s job to take,” Cherry said. “We want the people out there that give us the best chance to win. So far, Maddie has proven to be that person and we couldn’t be happier with the effort she’s given.”

Lyon leads her team with eight caps at starting goalkeeper this season.

Lyon has a challenge ahead of her, in the form of competition against Belmont and Jacksonville state.

The two opponents have combined for 200 shots this season and each average about 10 shots per game.

But, as Lyon has proven, she’ll be ready and composed to defend the Eastern net. Not only for the upcoming games, but for the remainder of this season and seasons to come.


Elias Albert can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]