It's only been two matches, but so far the Madison 56ers' attack is clicking along nicely.
Marta Wangard (Brookfield East) opened the scoring with a long strike in the opening quarter hour, and her University of Wisconsin teammate Lindsey Holmes (Verona) played a role in three goals as the 56ers cruised past the Quad City Eagles 4-1 in a Women's Premier Soccer League match Sunday afternoon in Riverdale, Iowa.
"Getting some goals is nice," said Madison coach John Reddan, whose team won its opener 3-1 over Indiana United on Friday. "It's nice getting some payoff for getting forward, because I think when this group breaks out, it can go pretty fast.
"It was a pretty good performance overall. I don't remember saying a whole lot, just watching for the most part."
Reddan saw Wangard put the visitors in front about 10 minutes in, ripping a shot from 23 yards out that hit the underside of the crossbar and crossed the line.
Ten minutes later, Holmes was tripped in the box, then got up and converted the ensuing penalty kick to double the advantage.
The Eagles, playing their first games of the season, were on the back foot throughout but scored on a counter attack to halve the deficit early in the second half.
Madison, though, quickly "wrestled the game back," Reddan said.
Iowa's Alex Melin (Verona) headed in a corner kick by Holmes, her former prep teammate, around the hour mark. Five minutes later, Holmes and UW-Green Bay's Hannah Kernen (Belleville/Sugar River) worked a combination sequence that concluded with Kernen playing a ball that Marquette's Taylor Madigan (Waunakee) finished first-time to make it 4-1.
The 56ers (2-0-0) – tied with the Kansas City Shock atop the early-season Midwest standings – return to Iowa for their only game next week, Saturday at league newcomer Des Moines Menace.
MADISON 56ERS: Katy Pilarzyk; Mara Wyttenbach, Jenna Harrington, Geena Swentik, Ashley Burkhardt; Alex Melin, Taylor Madigan, Marta Wangard; Morgan LaPlant, Lindsey Holmes, Hannah Kernen. Substitutes (open): Sara Spaulding, Shaina Riciputi, Molly Laufenberg.