Stinson save-ing the game

Junior goalkeeper prepares for last competitive soccer season

Erica Manier | The Falcon
Junior goalkeeper Molly Stinson.

Tough games often bring out the best in teams; they force every member to step up, and, for some, that goes without recognition.

For junior Falcon goalkeeper Molly Stinson, that is not the case.

Stinson from Woodinville, Washington has been the starting goalkeeper for the Falcons since her second year at SPU, after the previous goalie, Alexa Hughes, graduated.

“I was ready for any opportunity I was given. Maybe I wasn’t necessarily developed enough to start there my sophomore season, but oh I was ready all right,” Stinson said. “I am always going to say yes to an opportunity to better myself.”

That is what Stinson’s teammates and coaches love about the Washington native — her infectious can-do attitude and her love for the game of soccer.

Although Stinson was considered a “young” goalkeeper and lacked experience when she first gained her starting role, she has excelled in it.

Since starting as goalkeeper, Stinson has averaged 1,874 minutes a season. In the Falcons’ 2016 season, she came up with 106 saves and a game high of 13 saves against GNAC rivals Concordia Cavaliers. Stinson’s performance even earned her the GNAC Player of the Week title several times.

Erica Manier | The Falcon
Junior goalkeeper Molly Stinson saves practice shots.

“Being a goalkeeper is a thankless job at times, and takes a great deal of mental fortitude,” Head Coach Arby Busey said. “Since her [first year, Stinson] has grown into someone that now possesses a wealth of knowledge and she is now able to share that with the younger players.”

Stinson always knew she wanted to play in the goalkeeper position. Some people have told her she is a little crazy to want to play in goal, but Stinson loves what she does.

On Saturday, April 22, the SPU Women’s soccer team made the journey to Pullman, Washington to take on the WSU Cougars for the Falcons’ third game of their 2017 spring exhibition season.

Busey highlighted Stinson as a significant factor in his team’s exceptional performance during Saturday’s game.

“One of the keys to our great communication on Saturday was [Stinson] in goal,” Busey added.

Since her second season at SPU and especially this year’s Spring Exhibition season, Stinson has been a strong and supportive role for the Falcons, helping organize and take control defensively, through incredible saves and effective communication.

“She has come up big for us in a lot of our games especially the game on Saturday,” said junior forward Mickayla Mury. “[Stinson] helps keep our momentum and energy up as a team.”

For Stinson, however, it has never been about the stats. It has always been the team first.

“That sort of stuff fades away and honestly doesn’t define who I am,” Stinson said.

Rather than being remembered at SPU as just a soccer player, Stinson wants to be remembered by the relationships she formed within her team and the Falcon community as well as her selfless attitude toward anyone and everyone.

“I have tried my best to support all the Falcons in our community and be a part of everyone’s support system,” Stinson said. “We all need a fan, and I really try to support as many people as I can.”

Stinson will be finishing her soccer career next year once the Falcons fall season comes to a close, shutting the door on 16 years of playing the game she adores.

“I believe my competitive playing days will be finished when our SPU season is over,” Stinson said. “I love soccer, and I think it will always continue to find a way to sneak into my life, but I’m not sure my body could take much more.”

Stinson will graduate from SPU next June with a major in business administration concentrating in management, opening new pathways for the 21-year-old. And of course, she says she will always remain dedicated to her beloved Falcons.

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