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The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

The Student News Site of Saint Louis University

The University News

Women’s Soccer Accomplishes Historic Season

The Billikens Complete Season with a Loss Against The Nittany Lions in a Sweet Sixteen
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(Emma Duman/University News)

    Katie Shields and the no. 6 Billiken Women’s Soccer team wrapped up their season earlier this month in a Sweet Sixteen matchup against the no. 5 Nittany Lions of Penn State. The competitive matchup ended up going into double overtime, with the Nittany Lions finishing on top with a 4-3 final score. 

     Prior to entering the NCAA tournament for a shot at the National Title, the Billikens dominated the A10 tournament, winning against the LaSalle Explorers 3-0 to win the championship. Senior Caroline Kelley tallied two goals and one assist in the championship match, earning her the title of Tournament MVP. Junior Emily Gaebe also contributed, having one goal and one assist herself. 

     After earning their sixth consecutive A10 title, the Billikens started their playoff run matching up against the Indiana University Hoosiers at home. The Billikens finished on top, executing a 2-0 win. Then, the Billikens were matched up against the Georgetown Hoyas. With goals from Sawyer and Larson, the Billikens earned a 2-1 win. This win allowed SLU to make history, being the only team to make it to the Sweet Sixteen in program history. 

In their highly anticipated matchup against The Nittany Lions, both teams started off the match strong, scoring back to back goals in the first half. While it took the Billikens some time to adjust to Penn State’s play, they caught up and with the help of a goal by Hannah Larson, assisted by Houck and Sawyer. The second goal was unassisted, and scored by Emily Gaebe. After equalizing the score and pushing the game into overtime, the Billikens started off overtime getting ahead with an unassisted goal from Hannah Larson. Penn State answered back late, with two goals. 

     While the Billikens did not achieve the result they were hoping for, they accomplished many feats in their historic playoff run. The Billikens played a school-record 24th game, also making them the first team in SLU women’s soccer history to make it to the Sweet Sixteen. SLU’s very own senior goalkeeper Emily Puricelli set a SLU career record for goalkeeper minutes played, 7,672. Emily Gaebe’s goal against Penn State moved her into sole possession of second place on SLU’s career goals list (32) and into third place on the Billikens’ career points list (82). In their final match, Gaebe had a legendary game-high six shots, while Hannah Larson recorded a career-high five.

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     The Billikens finished their season accomplishing an overall record of 19-3-2 and a conference record of 9-0-1. With great season-long performances from several Billiken players, SLU Women’s Soccer have a lot to feel proud of this season, and a lot to look forward to in the offseason. 

    After the center fully opens later this November, the University News will look into the opinions of student athletes regarding the center and its many new amenities. It remains to be seen if the Champions Center was worth the decade of work and millions of dollars, but as its purpose is to serve student athletes, that verdict rests with them.

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About the Contributor
Nora Kotnik, Sports Editor
Nora Kotnik (she/her/hers) is a sophomore field hockey student-athlete at SLU majoring in Social Work. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she is one of the current Sports Editors for University News. She loves to read, write, and spend time staying active outdoors. Nora is ecstatic to be a member of the University News staff and looks forward to amplifying the voices and experiences of SLU students.
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