HELENA — Carroll College women's soccer coach Dave Thorvilson has a heavy heart when describing his three remaining seniors — Natalie Brown, Zoie Koci and Emily Funseth.
“Tremendous leaders, absolutely great kids and they really are setting the tone for everybody and (I’m) just excited for them,” Thorvilson said.
Carroll soccer is on the rise as the women's team currently sits at 6-0-1 overall and 3-0 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference with a 14-3 goal differential. The Saints currently share the top spot in the conference standings.
Funseth, an attacking midfielder from Great Falls CMR, has been a big reason for Carroll's success.
“This is the best we’ve done since I’ve been here, for sure," said Funseth, a senior majoring in sociology with a double minor in both psychology and gender studies. “It’s pretty cool, My family gets to come watch a lot of the games so, it’s always fun having that support in Montana,” said the 2022 CCC Academic All-Conference player.
“Of course, my team has set me up for success, and I wouldn’t score without them and we wouldn’t win games, if our keeper’s didn’t make saves, so it’s just like a group effort, for sure.”
During her time at Carroll, Funseth has been named All-CCC honorable mention in 2022, voted team captain in 2023 and was named the Cascade's offensive player of the week in back-to-back weeks.
“I think the biggest difference is my confidence, just being a senior and a captain and scoring goals is a huge confidence boost and it just builds on top of itself so, I mean, coming in as a shy freshman is way different than being a senior and I think that has a lot to do with it,” she said.
Funseth scored the game-winning goal with a penalty shot in the 69th minute of the Saints' 2-0 victory over Warner Pacific last Friday.
“We struggled in the first half, but I think we just needed that confidence boost. Taking penalty kicks is always scary, so being able to make a goal like that made everybody else want to find the urge to score and win the game, and then we got the second goal and it was good,” said Funseth.
The day before, Carroll completed a 1-0 win over Multnomah, a match in which Funseth notched 79 minutes. Funseth and the Saints look to continue their hot start this weekend when they head to Oregon to take on Bushnell and Corban.
“I don’t want to go in and expect the win, but I think that we can definitely do it if we play how we’ve been playing,” Funseth declared.