Although some transitioning from her hometown of Duluth, Minn., was required, Sarah Lyle has made herself at home at Missouri Western.
The stand-out goalkeeper found her way to Missouri Western from Duluth East High School in Duluth, Minn. At Duluth East High School, Lyle compiled quite the resume. She was not only named a captain, but was named to the Duluth News All-Area Team, as well as, being named MVP in 2011.
Her stats were equally attention-grabbing. In 34 games, she recorded 15 shutouts and 278 saves on her way to leading her team to the State Sectional Final.
Despite her exploits on the field, it wasn’t soccer that initially drew Lyle to St. Joseph.
The path to Missouri Western was influenced by several different coinciding events.
The biology program at was the first thing to attract Lyle to Western.
When Lyle first visited Missouri Western, she was immediately impressed by the campus.
“It doesn’t compare to any other school I visited,” Lyle said.
After visiting the state-of-the-art facilities and getting to experience the soccer atmosphere Western provided, Lyle concluded her tour by telling her mom that this is where she wanted to be.
So began Lyle’s journey of becoming a Griffon and leaving behind what she knew in Duluth.
Lyle and Griffon soccer coach Chad Edwards’ paths first crossed at a club team tournament in Springfield, Mo., which Edwards was the manager of.
Lyle’s club coach contacted Edwards when he took the job at Missouri Western and let Edwards know that Lyle was an outstanding goalkeeper that was already interested in Missouri Western. That’s when she received the offer to become a Griffon.
That offer solidified Lyle’s college decision. She would be headed to St. Joseph, describing it as “the perfect opportunity.”
She credits her quick adaption to her overly supportive teammates that have been her family away from home.
The biggest challenge to Lyle was overcoming the dialectic difference… Though this barrier provided some humor when trying to order food on campus.
Being a Minnesota-native has also had its benefits for Lyle’s current teammates,
When Western traveled to Minnesota to face Bemidji State and Minnesota Crookston, the goalkeeper’s family played host for the Griffons.
This was an experience that she cherished.
“My parents are both teachers, so it is difficult for them to make it to my games, both because of their schedules and because it is at least a nine-hour drive,” Lyle said.
This team stay in Minnesota included “a spaghetti dinner, a trip to Lake Superior, and over all just a chance to relax together as a team.”
This was not only a special experience for her, but for her teammates as well. Being able to host her team was “bringing her home away from home to her real home.,” was a special experience for Lyle.
Moving forward, Lyle wants to promote how much the program has changed in a positive direction. As the program continues to rise and the level of player the program attracts continues to rise as well, but each is focused on a common goal.
“Every single player has bought in and wants to be the best team,” Lyle said.