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Green Knight Leads Nation in Goal Scoring

To understand how Katie Vanden Avond ’15 has attained her lofty accomplishments on the soccer field, you have to go back to the very beginning.

The St. Norbert scoring dynamo scored four goals in her very first collegiate match in 2011 and hasn’t slowed down since. This fall Vanden Avond has set St. Norbert and Midwest Conference career records in goals and points, with 86 goals and 189 points as of Nov. 5.

It all started, though, with those four goals in a 6-0 win over Lakeland College on Sept. 2, 2011, a game in which Vanden Avond wasn’t even sure she’d play after suffering a knee injury in high school.

“I had a bad [senior] season after not playing my junior year, so I was just hoping to get playing time,” Vanden Avond says. “I was surprised to be starting the first game.”

Two days later, Vanden Avond scored all three goals in a 3-2 win over UW-River Falls, including the overtime game-winner from 20 yards out.

“That was surreal,” Vanden Avond says. “I took a really deep shot I shouldn’t have taken. None of it seemed real.”

Vanden Avond ended up scoring 28 goals and 64 points as a freshman to lead all of NCAA Division III. She followed that up with 26 goals and 54 points in her sophomore year, even after missing two games due to injury.

When asked if he ever envisioned his standout forward putting up those kind of numbers, St. Norbert head coach Dennis Detrie says point-blank: “Never. No way.”

“I thought if she could get 15 to 20 goals a year, that’s outstanding. And she just blew that away,” Detrie says. “Sixty to 70 [career] goals are top five in conference history, so 15 [goals] a year is pretty good.”

This season, Vanden Avond has 32 goals and seven assists for 71 points in 18 games. Vanden Avond has 16 career hat tricks, five in each of her first three seasons at St. Norbert and six in this.

One achievement is left to be reached for Vanden Avond - leading the Green Knights to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time. The Green Knights have the opportunity to clinch the Midwest Conference's automatic qualifier when it hosts the MWC Tournament this Friday and Saturday at Schneider Stadium.     

“That’s what we’re focused on,” Vanden Avond said. “There’s a slim chance we could tie for the conference title but since our first practice our goal is to get to the NCAA Tournament.”

Nov. 5, 2013