GREAT FALLS – The Providence women’s soccer team is holding strong a little more than halfway through the season. The Argos are led by a hometown superstar, who just became the franchise’s leading scorer with 25 career goals.
And she’s only a junior.
This season just seems to have a different vibe for the Argos. They currently sit at 6-3 on the year, and a large part of that is that junior Eme McLaughlin, who is having one of the best years in program history. She’s been on an absolute tear lately, scoring nine goals in UP’s past four games.
“It’s been awesome. I definitely have to give props to my team for it,” said McLaughlin. “They’ve definitely been the ones setting me up and getting me those through balls, and it’s been good.”
McLaughlin earned Cascade Collegiate Conference offensive player of the week honors for her recent play. The Great Falls CMR product has scored a whopping 13 goals this season. That’s already a Providence record, and the Argos still have seven games left to play.
“It was so surprising to me. I didn’t even know I was close to it until (coach Brian Clarke) told me after the game,” said McLaughlin. “It was definitely an amazing feeling, especially that we have seven games left this season and I get a whole another year next year. It’s exciting.”
“We’re really happy for her. I know that’s something Eme has kind of had on her goals since she was a freshman, so I’m really happy,” said coach Brian Clarke. “That benefits the team. Everyone is doing their job, really good job — from the backline to those like Eme up on top finishing, so it’s exciting for the program. You can feel that excitement with the girls. Everyone’s success is the team’s success. We’re really happy for Eme, she’s doing a great job and we have big expectations moving forward.”
Having a player like McLaughlin on a team helps so much. Not only is she a great scorer, but when opposing teams lock her down that paves the way for other players who have stepped up, like Malena Lennon, Kate Sisler and others.
“We definitely key to look to Eme, because she has a great ability to get in behind the defense and a great ability to finish. But we have other girls that are stepping up, as well,” said Clarke. “A lot of teams are looking to key off of (McLaughlin), so sometimes that plays into other people getting the opportunities and they’re doing a great job of finishing when we need them to step up, as well.”
The Argos sit at third place in the Cascade Conference, and, barring injury, the team has a great shot to make it into the playoffs this year. These ladies know how to mesh perfectly on the field, with McLaughlin being one of the upperclassmen leading the way.
“This team is so different than the teams I was a part of my freshman and sophomore year. It’s amazing the see the difference and the change in our team,” said McLaughlin. “Team chemistry makes a huge difference on and off the field.”
The Argos will next play on the road on Oct. 5 at the College of Idaho.