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Enumclaw graduate Caitlin Plese provides inspired play at Portland State University | Soccer

Caitlin Plese provided an immediate spark when she was inserted into Portland State’s starting lineup. - Courtesy photo by Steve Brenner
Caitlin Plese provided an immediate spark when she was inserted into Portland State’s starting lineup.
— image credit: Courtesy photo by Steve Brenner

Since cracking the starting lineup, Enumclaw High graduate Caitlin Plese has provided a defensive spark for the Portland State University soccer squad.

The Vikings’ resurgance included a 2-0 victory over the University of Hawaii Sept. 15 during the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Soccer Classic in Waipahu, Hawaii. Portland State took the victory despite being outshot 20-5, largely thanks to the 10 saves Plese recorded. For her effort, the 2011 Enumclaw grad was named to the all-tournament team and, two days later, was honored as the Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

“Caitlin is very deserving of her player of the week recognition,” PSU coach Laura Schott said. “She’s been part of three shutouts this year and played a particularly outstanding game against Hawaii.”

Portland State dropped its first three contests of the season, giving up 11 goals, prompting a decision to insert Plese into the starting lineup. During her first four games in goal, the Vikings won three times – all by shutout – while allowing just a single goal.

During those four outings, Plese registered a .950 save percentage.

Schott was impressed at the way her redshirt sophomore responded to the challenge.

“Most successful teams have a goalkeeper who enjoys leading and can handle pressure,” she said. “It’s one of those positions that is critical to a team’s success and Caitlin has done a good job filling that role for us so far this season.”

After polishing off a steller EHS career, Plese was a redshirt during her first season at Portland State. During the 2012 season, she appeared in just two matches, seeing 41 minutes of action.

Things have definitely changed during the past two weeks for Plese, who wears No. 1 for the Vikings.

Success on the field is nothing new for the 20-year-old daughter of Mike and Kim Plese. While at Enumclaw High, she was a four-year letterwinner and three-time all-league selection. She was twice named the Hornets’ Most Valuable Player and was the league’s defensive MVP following her senior campaign.

Aside from her athletic accomplishments, Plese has been an academic standout at PSU, maintaining a 3.86 grade-point average while majoring in criminology and criminal justice. She was involved in the Running Start program at Enumclaw High and has already received her undergraduate degree from Portland State; she interned with the Oregon State Police during the summer and is now working toward a master’s degree.

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