Schuck's Clipboard

Like mother, like daughter: Meyer locks down goal for Raiders

By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 25, 2018 10:45 pm Updated: May. 25, 2018 11:31 pm

NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- It's probably a 15-minute ride from the Quincy Notre Dame girls soccer team's hotel to Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, depending on traffic.

That was long enough for Madison L. Meyer to have a chat with her mom, Michelle.

"She made me call her before the game," said Meyer, the junior goalkeeper who was in net Friday against Belleville Althoff in the Class 1A state semifinals. "She wanted to give me a pep talk."

Her words of advice must have made an impact. Meyer made nine saves, including two in a sequence late in the first half that allowed the Raiders to take a three-goal lead into halftime. She also stonewalled the Crusaders twice late in the game, preserving a school-record 22nd shutout and a 4-0 victory.

"As soon as we were on the bus and headed to the state tournament, I knew I had to get in the mindset that I had to be ready and on my toes," Meyer said. "We all knew this team was going to be good. We had to be mentally prepared."

Just in case that might have been forgotten, Meyer's mom had a reminder.

"She was just telling me that I needed to follow my instincts and make the easy saves," Meyer said. "Don't be scared, and don't be timid. Make a decision, and go with it."

It was sound advice from someone who has been in those shoes.

Michelle Meyer was the starting goalkeeper at QND in 1999 when the Raiders went 21-0-1 before being upset in the sectional championship. She recorded 19 shutouts that season, which was the school record at the time.

That mark was broken by Mackenzie Little with 20 shutouts in 2012, but Michelle Meyer's total still ranks among the top 20 for a single season in Illinois High School Association history.

Now she has company. Friday night's shutout was Madison L. Meyer's 19th this season.

"Her mom was a good one," said QND coach Mark Longo, who coached both. "If there is anybody who could give her advice, it would be her."

Maybe the best advice would be to play the way mom did.

Actually, she does.

"She's an athlete," Longo said. "She sacrifices her body. She does what she needs to do. She came up with the one sequence late in the first half where she made the saves we really needed. She stood on her head and got the job done."

That sequence involved making the initial save near the left post on a shot by Althoff's Sophia Monken. The rebound popped loose, and an Althoff player got a foot on it and knocked a second shot off the crossbar. Scrambling to get back into position, Meyer pounced on the ball and covered it, allowing QND to maintain the three-goal lead at halftime.

"It was such a relief when I made those saves," Meyer said. "I knew if they got a goal, it would motivate them and get them back in the right mindset."

It didn't happen because she followed good advice.

"I like being on my toes and making some saves," Meyer said.