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Women’s Soccer Goes Undefeated in Nonconference

Freshman+Annabelle+Copeland+dribbles+around+a+defender.
Freshman Annabelle Copeland dribbles around a defender.

Freshman Annabelle Copeland dribbles around a defender.

SLU Athletics

SLU Athletics

Freshman Annabelle Copeland dribbles around a defender.

Bobby Stilwell, Sports Editor

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SLU Women’s Soccer continues to set the pace this season, posting a tie with No. 19 Kansas, along with wins at Evansville and Murray State.

The first half of the Friday, Sept. 8, game vs. Kansas was an intense defensive battle with neither team able to score.

The Jayhawks opened scoring early in the second half, finding the net in the 51st minute. Senior goalkeeper Mary Niehaus went perfect after allowing this one goal, stopping four in the second half.

Offensively in the second half, SLU found the net when freshman forward Annabelle Copeland scored her first career goal, assisted by sophomore forward Alyssa Seitzer.

Neither team could score again in the half, so the record crowd of 5,205 got to see some overtime from the two teams.

Niehaus saved two in the first overtime, keeping the score knotted 1-1. Fans were then treated to a second overtime period where SLU almost scored the game-winning goal. However, Kansas pulled off the save, which led to a 1-1 tie.

Drawing against a ranked team was huge for head coach Katie Shields. “We proved we can play with anybody. This is a great test…to remain unbeaten is a great way to go into the final two nonconference games.”

Shields went on to say, “It was cool. Early on in the game, we couldn’t get going on the counterattack, and in the second half, we started to get it rolling. That was a senior finish by a freshman.”

“To be a championship team, you have to have a goalkeeper that can keep you in games,” said Shields. “Mary’s ability to always keep us in games is something that we be will help us be in a championship game come November.”

When scoring her goal, Copeland was super focused. “I think I was so caught up in the moment, I couldn’t hear a thing.”

SLU next traveled to Evansville, Ind. on Sept. 15 for a Friday night nonconference matchup. Freshman midfielder Olivia Petit opened scoring in the 21st minute before Evansville tied it up just two minutes before the half.

SLU got back on top with a Seitzer goal in the 61st minute, with junior forward Maddie Pokorny scoring an insurance goal 10 minutes later. Sophomore forward Evie Lavelle notched assists on the goals by Petit and Seitzer.

The winning streak continued at Murray State on Sept. 17. This Sunday afternoon matchup was the final nonconference matchup of the season for the Billikens.

Like the Kansas game, neither team scored in the first half. Unlike the Kansas game, SLU won. Copeland scored her second career goal in the 66th minute to seal the victory.

With the victory at Murray State, SLU Women’s Soccer went undefeated in nonconference play–a first for the women’s soccer program.

SLU is receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll heading into Thursday night’s conference opener vs. St. Bonaventure. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Hermann Stadium.

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Women’s Soccer Goes Undefeated in Nonconference