Abby Coffin breaks school record for career goals

It may come as no surprise that a header was the shot that set a new school record for career goals as any avid Carnegie Mellon sports fan knows that senior co-captain Abigail Coffin loves to tally goals, goals, goals, at all costs. True to her nature, this 5'8" forward slammed the ball into the back of the net, scoring the game winner in the 61st minute against Grove City College last Tuesday.

Despite currently recording 34 career goals and five this fall, her career is far from over with seven games remaining in her final regular season and with University Athletic Association (UAA) competition just underway.

“It is relieving and kind of sad at the same time [to break the record],” Coffin said. “It is fun to have a personal goal to work towards, but there are so many team goals we still have to accomplish that it’s relieving to check this one off the list.”

One of Coffin’s biggest fans, senior basketball player Terrance Bouldin-Johnson, anticipated that Coffin would break the record against Grove City. Wearing Coffin’s old #19 jersey, he ripped it off to expose his bare chest and paraded the sidelines wildly cheering after she scored the record-breaking goal. As ball boy for every home game, Bouldin-Johnson has watched Coffin put away the majority of her goals.

“It was just a matter of time before she broke the record,” he said. “I was honored to both wear and tear her jersey off as per her request.”

Jump-starting her career with numerous accolades, Coffin was named UAA Rookie of the Year and an All-UAA Second Team selection in 2005 for leading the Tartans with 10 goals, three of which were game winning, and two assists. In her sophomore year, she became the first person in school history to record two hat tricks (three goals in one game) in one season, as well as tallying eight goals (three game winners) and three assists, placing her on the All-UAA Second Team.

Coffin was named to the NSCAA/Adidas All-Great Lakes Region Third Team and UAA Second Team her junior year. She had two multiple-game goals that year with four in the 6–0 win over Washington & Jefferson College and a hat trick in the 3–1 victory against the University of Chicago just before breaking her foot at the end of the match. Coffin concluded the season with 10 goals and one assist.

Head coach Sue Willard has had the opportunity to work with Coffin since her first year at Carnegie Mellon and has watched Coffin develop as a player and person through the years.

“When I first saw Abby play her freshman year during preseason, I knew she had unlimited potential on the field. Some players become content and sit on their talent and don’t push themselves to get better, but Abby worked to become a well-rounded player that not only scores goals but also creates a lot of opportunities for her teammates,” Willard said. “Abby also has a passion for the game and would do anything for her teammates. The Abby you see on the field is much more intense and competitive than the fun-loving individual you get to know off the field. Regardless of how many people are hanging onto her or fouling her, she still finds a way to get the job done.”

Coffin believes that soccer is a team sport and that her goal scoring ability can only help progress the team’s success but not define it: “My goal for the rest of the season is to help my team in every way, shape, and form to get to NCAAs. It takes a lot more than scoring goals to do that,” Coffin said. “I love my team, and the rest of the season moves towards going to a place CMU women’s soccer has never been before.”