Defense has been an important part of the women’s soccer team’s progress this season. The main aspect of the Boxer defense is goalkeeper Brittany Hartmann. The women’s soccer team is currently in the middle of the pack when it comes to Northwest Conference standings with a record of 6-4-1.

Hartmann, who finished the 2010 season ranked first in the NWC in saves and save percentage, has started all but two games in goal in her Pacific career and is currently ranked second in the conference. Hartmann recorded her first shut out of the season Sept. 2 in a victory over Northwest Christian University.

Hartmann recorded a season high of 12 saves and collected her third shutout of the season Sept. 14 in a 1-0 overtime victory over George Fox University.

“Brittany is a fantastic goalkeeper,” said Head Coach Morgan Crabtree. “She is solid. She works hard. She is one of the most determined personalities on this team.”

The Boxers strong defense has not always been the case though.

“In the past we did not have a very good attack so we defended a lot,” said Hartmann. The team has played together for a few seasons, especially the defensive layers. The backline had the opportunity to really develop through working together and playing together.

Hartmann said that the ball has to go through 10 other people before it gets to her. She denotes a lot of her success in the keeper’s box to her team and their all around effort on the field.

According to Hartmann, the pressure she feels forces her to really focus during the games. Being the last line of defense for her team can be nerve-wracking and little scary at times, however she maintains the proper mindset that is needed to make saves.

“If I make a mistake, it’s a goal,” said Hartmann reflecting on the pressures a goalkeeper has.

The team wants to have more shut-outs and score at least two goals per game. But the Boxer’s main goal this season is to be a top contender in conference. Hartmann believes they can accomplish that goal and she is going to do all she can to help her team get there.

The Boxers next game is a home game against Lewis & Clark University at 5 p.m. Friday Oct. 14.

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