Wesmen women’s soccer goalkeeper Madison Priebe is now an all-star. The University of Winnipeg sophomore was recently named a Canada West second-team all-star after a record-breaking 2023 season.
Priebe made 141 saves across 12 games this season, smashing the decade-old conference record of 128. She is the second player in Wesmen women’s soccer history to be named to a conference all-star team.
This was only Priebe’s second year on the team, but she’s already carved out a place as a leader and mentor for her teammates. She was chosen as one of two team captains after being named the Wesmen soccer player of the year as a freshman.
“Coming into playing as a Wesmen, I was hoping to be able to prove that I can compete at this level,” Priebe says.
“As I continue to develop as a player, I'm setting my goals higher. I'm exploring options of what it would look like to go and play pro, and that’s something that I've kind of set my sights on.”
Head coach Amy Anderson says Priebe’s determination, character and athleticism are key in setting her apart as a player and teammate.
“She’s a step ahead,” Anderson says. “She works on her own, and she’s gifted coming into the position, so that combined with her hard work has brought her where she is now.”
Priebe says one of her biggest assets as a goalkeeper is her mentality. She credits a large part of her season to the work she’s done with Wesmen sport psychologist Cal Botterill on fine-tuning her mental game.
“I’ve had the opportunity to develop (strong mental abilities) over these past couple years as a Wesmen, to stay calm under pressure and to just embrace the challenge that it can be,” she says.
Priebe also works hard in the off-season to develop her decision-making and accuracy when passing the ball back to her teammates. She says refining these distribution skills is a key step for anyone who wants to be a “top-tier goalkeeper.”
Veteran Wesmen defender Sydney Arnold says she “feels very confident” during games knowing Priebe is behind her.
Defenders rely on their goalkeepers to call out information about where to look for incoming plays. Priebe often weaves encouragement into the instructions she gives, which Arnold says reflects her caring personality.
“She’s definitely the sweetest person outside of soccer as well,” Arnold says. “I would be confident to go to her not only as a captain about soccer problems, but I would also feel completely confident to go to her with my personal issues, just because she was so sweet and genuine.”
Priebe is forthcoming about how much help she’s had along the way. She says she’s especially thankful for Wesmen coaches Lydia Balsillie and Jeff Seney, both of whom she worked with before joining the team.
Priebe encourages younger athletes to set big goals for themselves and work hard to achieve them.
“Keep believing in yourself and just keep pushing, because opportunities will come,” she says. “Don't ever give up, even if it’s not looking your way.”
Published in Volume 78, Number 10 of The Uniter (November 16, 2023)