Last year, Kiersten Turner ’16 took a weight off of first-year coach Brianne Weaver’s shoulders by asserting herself into a starting forward position. As a freshman, she tallied six goals in 17 games, tied for eighth-most in the NESCAC. A year later, Turner is on pace to surpass that total, netting her fourth goal in six games this season. She currently ranks second in the NESCAC in goals and third in points, and is one half of a capable pair of forwards along with Jamie Hofstetter ’16.

Turner scored both goals in the team’s 2-0 victory over Bates. She added another goal on a penalty kick Tuesday evening against the University of New England.

According to various teammates, Hofstetter’s technical game pairs well with Turner’s pure speed.

“Working off and with the other forward is such a critical part of being an attacking unit,” Hofstetter said. “I really think that [Turner] has taken it upon herself to make sure that we become really successful.”

On the field, Turner plays what Coach Weaver calls the speed-forward position. She plays the furthest up field and pressures opposing defenses with the threat of outpacing them on long passes. Her constant activity makes her difficult to defend. Coach Weaver also praised the accuracy of her shots and her ability to settle balls on first touch.

While not an overwhelmingly vocal locker room presence, Turner provides stability and energy both on and off the field.

“She’s so consistent,” Weaver said. “It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. She’s a great standard and she raises the level of the team because she works so hard.”

Her speed gives her an easy advantage when battling for 50-50 balls and trying to take balls out of the air.

“I think she does a great job of stressing out the defensive line,” Hofstetter said. “Her constant runs tire out and confuse the defense.”

Turner’s history with soccer is a familiar one. She tried the sport at an early age, played for her town, then gradually increased her commitment until she was travelling year round. The Gorham, Maine native found her way onto Bowdoin’s radar quickly and the College began actively recruiting Turner by her junior year in high school.

Despite the close proximity to the College, location did not have anything to do with Turner’s final decision to become a Polar Bear.

“I always loved soccer, but academics was always in the back of my mind,” Turner said. “Soccer wasn’t the thing I was going to continue doing later in life.”

But Bowdoin’s academic record was not the deciding factor either.

“The people made the biggest difference,” she said. “I felt welcome right away.”

She also cites this feeling as an explanation for her strong start.

“Confidence is a huge thing,” she said. “I needed to be comfortable in my surroundings. Then, once my confidence began to grow, I started to play well.”

This did not take very long, according to Coach Weaver.

“The first time I really saw her was the summer before her first year,” Weaver said. “She stood out from the very first day of tryouts. She’s 100 percent determined about everything she does.”

After a season and a half, Turner is likely to continue to stand out, especially to opposing teams.

“I really think that Kiersten is and will remain a key to our game,” Hofstetter said. “I have faith that her goal tally will keep growing this season and in seasons to come.”

Turner is leaning toward a major in government or psychology. When free from off-season conditioning, she makes a habit of attending school sporting events, particularly hockey games. Generally, she enjoys campus programs—particularly if her teammates are involved. She is also the team representative to the Bowdoin Student Athlete Advisory Council.

The sports editor of the Orient chooses the Athlete of the Week based on exemplary performance.