Women’s Soccer kicks off season with record-setting performances by athletes

Billiken Athletics

Bobby Stilwell, Sports Editor

SLU Women’s Soccer has dominated to start their season, going 6-0, and also winning their exhibition game.

The sole exhibition game saw the Lady Billikens hosting Western Kentucky at Hermann. SLU won 4-0 off goals from sophomore forward Evie Lavelle, sophomore forward Alyssa Seitzer, junior forward Lindsay Sands, and freshman midfielder Olivia Petit.

Next up was a home match against Vanderbilt. Petit scored twice in the first half, assisted by Seitzer on the first goal, and sophomore midfielder Courtney Reimer on the second goal, putting SLU up 2-0 at the half. Lavelle found the net just a few minutes into the second half, scoring off assists from Seitzer and junior forward Maddie Pokorny.

SLU set a program record and tied another with a 1-0 win over the IL State Redbirds on Fri., Aug. 25, part of a fall welcome doubleheader with men’s soccer. Neither team could break the defensive battle during the first half, and it seemed like the second half would remain scoreless. Pokorny said “I got this” and found a hole, scoring the first, and only, goal of the game. With this win, SLU Women’s Soccer won their 12th consecutive game, a program record, and tied the 2003 team with three straight shutouts to start the season.

Despite her goal being scored as unassisted, Pokorny believes her teammates helped with the goal. “Lindsay [Sands] and Alyssa [Seitzer] were able to make space, I shot the gap, and ended up on top. Couldn’t have done it without the forwards’ movement.”

While the team set a record, head coach Katie Shields tends to focus elsewhere. “We don’t talk about records in the program…we’re just focused on the next game.”

In regard to the first-year students in the stands for fall welcome, Coach Shields hopes “they enjoyed themselves. I think one of the great things about SLU is that it’s a soccer school. It’s great to get them here on their first week and have them watch soccer. I hope they come back because we will score more in the future.”

The Lady Billikens went on the road for their next three games, facing Arkansas State, a cross-town clash at local foe SIU-Edwardsville, and a cross-state clash at MO State.

The Arkansas State game on Sun., Aug. 27 was perhaps the closest game so far. A back-and-forth battle ensued with SLU getting on the board early off a Seitzer goal, assisted by Reimer. Arkansas State struck back with a goal of their own before the half, leaving the game tied 1-1 at halftime.

SLU bounced back early in the second half, with Seitzer assisting Pokorny on a SLU goal. Again, Arkansas State scored an equalizer, tying it up again at 2-2. It was a white-knuckle battle until sophomore forward Emma Farley scored her first career goal to send SLU up 3-2, and secure the win.

The Lady Billikens crossed the Mississippi River and headed to Edwardsville for a local match on Thurs., Aug. 31. SLU blanked the Cougars of SIUE 3-0 off a late first half goal from freshman forward Megan Nixon, assisted by freshman forward Annabelle Copeland. Pokorny and Sands scored in the second half, with assists from Seitzer and Lavelle, to secure the first 5-0 start to a season in program history.

The momentum continued for the Lady Billikens at MO State, where SLU grabbed another 3-0 victory over the Bears. Pokorny found the net in the first half, assisted by Petit. Only seconds into the second half, Nixon scored, assisted by Seitzer. Freshman midfielder Haley Cox netted her first career goal, with an assist from Copeland, to cap off the record-setting sixth consecutive victory to start the season.

The Billikens return home this Fri., Aug. 8 to host the Kansas Jayhawks at 7 p.m.