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SLU Women's Soccer Thread (2020 - 2021)

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56 minutes ago, Bearcat said:

Courtside, Thank you for the continued fantastic coverage and insight. For a while now my daughter has been obsessed with the Billikens, and dragged me into it with her. Honestly in my limited soccer knowledge as former mid level club coach, referee  for club NAIA and High School, and parent with 3 kids playing, I believe they were in the top 10 of teams we watched play this spring across all conferences.  I have to believe they will get back on track. Fantastic coaches with high ethics and a team that is as cohesive as they seem from the outside says as much. Looking forward to seeing them put it back together. Thank you for the time you take to share your knowledge here. I just registered but she has been reading me posts from the site all year. Very much appreciate you, never thought I’d become an SLU fan,  but here I am. 

Welcome to the club, @Bearcat! Always great to have new posters!

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SLU at Illinois St. Sunday. 

Illinois St. has had a lot of success under recent past coaches Drew Roff (now at Purdue and another SLU opponent this season) had 8 successful seasons, 6 MVC Titles, 5 NCAA appearances.) Then, Eric Golz, took over at Illinois St. for a couple of seasons before moving on to Dayton. Current head coach Brad Silvey was part of the previous staffs and comea from a success IWCC juco national title background, in his 5th season. They were building each season but have had a few pandemic setbacks and they are off to a bit of a slow start this year.

As is sometimes the case there is some Stl flavor to their team. Four Stl locals this season. (Kasey Neidhardt, Sydney Smith, Hanna Jones, Haley Glover), though some have some injuries and some will come off of the bench.

It’s a veteran team for Illinois St., In back, Michaela Kirschten is an all league caliber player. And Ashley Santos leads their attacking midfield with similar recognition. They have a few other solid players from Chicago that add to their attack, as they have done a nice job building out recruiting in the Midwest, plains, and Upper Midwest into Canada. They have fallen apart a bit defensively the last couple of games, but have found a little offensive footing after a slow start there. A preseason 2nd place MVC is not to be overlooked. 

This is an opportunity to get on the board with a win for SLU on the road and start rebuilding some confidence.  

Keeping up with the competition…

Xavier and Iowa are both off to strong starts this season. Xavier is 3-0 with wins at SLU, at hime vs Northwestern 2-1, and, Freshman from St. Louis Chloe Netzel netted the 1-0 game winner in the 80th minute, in a 1-0 win vs crosstown rival Cincinnati.

Iowa is 3-0, after 2-1 win at DePaul, 1-0 win at SLU, and, a thrilling come from behind 2-1 win over cross state rival Iowa St. Interestingly enough, Iowa goes on the road this weekend to play at Kansas. 

Always root for your opponents except  of course when you play your opponent, to elevate that power rating. It’s never too early or late for that. 



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SLU 2 Illinois St 0 (It could have been worse)

Good effort, good to get some goals, a win, and, to get on the board. The play was better.

Emily Groark started and played limited minutes in bth halves. (left knee). She was having a strong preseason, and, she was conference UWS this summer as a forward. Not having her either up top or wide midfield has been a big hole to fill. 

Similar formation for SLU.

Groark started up top which moved Kelly to off of the bench. Groark was active and involved early, whether it was getting deep into the corners, slotting passes for forwards, defending passing lanes, forcing turnovers, or hitting a few herself. You can see some of what has been missing. 

Sawyer wide mid with Friedrich, Miller/Kohl and Beach, Heckel, Stram, Houck in back with Puricelli. Sawyer was also able to play some up top, a more natural place for her. She has become a reliable many minute versatile offensive player that as mentioned during recruiting, preseason, etc lots of pace and fitness, areas of need. Halverson not dressed but she’s been involved, and, she at least made the trip this time. 

Illinois St. came in banged up a little bit and had to play one of its best offensive players in a more defensive role. 

Gaebe as mentioned before, can score in a variety of ways. That’s her strength, and, she’s a physical player, still getting match fit. This time, she scored in space as Walsh slots a nice through ball and Gaebe uses a nice first touch, body positioning, left foot, low far post. 

Summers was back and out of the

walking boot. She played a little bit of everything, wide mid, left and right back. She can also play forward. Beach and Kohl with two nice stop ball tackles that weren’t there as much the first few games. Miller received an elbow to the head on a 50/50 aerial ball, was a down a bit, dazed a bit, didn’t return. Kohl played a full 90 on the side. You’ll see Stram (nice game) and Heckel play a full 90 much of the time at inside back. 

Liz Stureman also saw her first minutes of the season after being out all of preseason and first games wit injury. IMG Academy player originally out of Ft. Wayne IN, more backline depth at eight back. Summers, Stureman, and Brinkman showing the backline depth without Halverson, and Beach working towards 100% etc…makes a big difference. 

Friedrich set up Miller for SLU’s first goal, near post header.

Friedrich was also active early getting inside multiple times, and defensively in passing lanes. SLU clearly wanted to take more shots on goal early, even from distance. Then they were able to get deeper into the wide mid corners and make some diagonal runs inside the box.

Interestingly enough both SLU Men and Women had goals today where the defensive player was standing inside the goal line on a header. Both were correctly counted as goals. SLU’s wide mids were getting deeper up the field today, and working better with both attack mids and forwards. 

Kelly had a near miss header, and she had a near slam dunk assist broken up that she’d like to have back. Having her come off of the bench as a spark was better for her today. She will eventually break through. 

Better distribution out of the back today, and mids much better distribution forward connecting passes. Walsh, Kohl, nice job there. SLU did a better job showing for the ball as well. Smaller passes. First touch, combining passes. 

17 shots, 6 corners. It could have been 4 or 5 goals. The last 20 minutes were a bit less effective finishing out the game with lots of players. But overall it was a good performance and a nice, comfortable needed win, much more dangerous chances created. Celebrate success.  

Notes: KU had an OT goal from Freshman Raena Childers to take down Iowa 1-0. It was KU’s most complete game thus far. They didn’t start slow, they didn’t have lapses as they did vs SLU. Raena’s sister Rylan had a big goal vs SLU. Xavier had a 4-0 win over Murray St. How long does it take to come back from an ACL tear? It varies, but one of the best local Stl prep players and UNC commit, Maci Teater played her first game recently this month, 311 days after her surgery. 


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Some club ball and high school recognition this week for some SLU commits.

2022 SLU commit Taylor Krueger (MF/D Portland Jesuit:/Crossfire United), was named preseason one of the best players in Oregon 6A. She is a 4 year starter, seeking her 4th straight 6A State Title.

2023 SLU commit Jordan Gary (MF, Collinsville, SLSG) was named First Team ECNL Midwest Conference. 17’s. 

2023 SLU commit Ashley Koch (F, SME, KC Athletics) was named First Team ECNL Conference. 16’s. (She also scored this weekend in a 3-1 Friendly win over SLSG. They also had a 4-2 win over SLSG this summer)







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2023 Autumn Jackson committed today to SLU. Very good pick up here.

She was most recently 2nd Team All Midwest Conference ECNL with SLSG. She is a Club teammate of SLU commit Jordan Gary. (Gary has played for both the Il and MO SLSG teams) Attends Ft. Zumwalt West High School.

Has played outside back, and can also play wide mid or forward. Box to box, plays with pace, strong technically, versatile player. 

She was selected to the same International Champions Cup representing the United States as future teammate Jordan Gary in 2019.

She was also invited early 2021 to attend the U.S. U17 Women’s National Team Virtual ID Camp. She also was invited to the U.S.Youth National Team Regional ID Camp in Indianapolis this past Spring.


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Game day at home vs Louisville. Big game for a variety of reasons. 

Another 20 year plus head coach opponent in Louisville’s Karen Ferguson Dayes. (Played and started as an assistant at UConn) She’s led Louisville to being competitive in 3 different leagues including the current ACC.

Louisville plays in one of the best league’s in the country. Currently, FSU, UVA, and Duke, all UL opponents this year, look every bit of top 5 teams. They also play a few other ranked teams, Clemson etc and a few more that are on the cusp with strong  starts, ND, BC. Even non-conference, they have Michigan coming up, another ranked team. 

Off to a fast 3-0 start, albeit against confidence building opponents, Louisville plays a lot of young players, including a few Freshmen up top that have been providing some offensive punch for the Cardinals. Simon will take shots anywhere in the final third, Dardano creating in the attacking midfield. Nicosia also adds some flare in their attack. A few Eclipse players there out of Chicago. (This summer the 19’s Eclipse team won the ECNL National Championship.) Need to find those three.  Louisville has been having a lot of success on free kicks, corners, set pieces. Need to defend those well and counter. Louisville has a very experienced 3rd team All ACC keeper in her graduate season, after starting all four seasons, Gabby Kouzelos.

Louisville is just two years removed from back to back NCAA Tourneys that included a regular season 1-0 win over SLU. Lawler, Halverson, Denison started that game with Freshmen Kohl and Miller coming off of the bench for the Billikens. 

Somewhat known for defending and trying to find offensive punch, this year’s Louisville has had a few wide open games before returning to a more familiar style in their last game. We’ll see.



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Louisville 1 SLU 0. A tough one as SLU could have won the game.

Specifics matter. Speculation and guessing don’t.

Starters: Puricelli, Houck, Stram, Heckel, Beach right to left. Kohl, Miller. Friedrich,’Walsh, Sawyer. Groark up top. (Halverson still out)

Once again, Groark up top makes SLU a different team. She combines well with outside mids, attacking mids, plays with different pace, defends, poise and technical on the ball, good passer, finishes with accuracy, can show or make runs. She was set for a big season. Played v SIUE. Didn’t play the next several games until eased back in vs Illinois St.  Unfortunately she reinjured her left knee 20 minutes in to the game and didn’t return. Not hopeful there. 

SLU did well defensively in the first half to force Louisville wide, and to force aerial service into the box from distance. This plays into SLU’s strength as SLU wins a lot of aerial battles all over the field, especially in back and offensively on set pieces.

When Groark went out, Kelly came in up top. She also later played wide mid for the first time this season, allowing Gaebe and Sawyer to play up top. Sawyer played three positions. Summers had some time in the attacking third as well still coming back from her foot/ankle injury. 

Two of SLU’s more active players were Sawyer and Gaebe. Miller had a nice first half in the defensive midfield, as did outside backs Houck and Beach. But in the 2nd, I think some lack of depth, due to some injury, and lack of recovery speed in back, can expose SLU a little bit to a few chances and that’s all it takes in a close game.

I’d like to see SLU’s other mids keep working to add to their game. Walsh defending, Kohl adding more offensive pieces. Walsh adding more defensively. This is what separates Miller a bit. Miller defends well, wins aerial balls, can finish on offense, has some size, sees the field well with distribution into the attack. She doesn’t have speed so positioning is important. She competes as do all of SLU’s players. Sawyer stands out for improving several areas so quickly. The physicality of this level, playing two ways and defending wide mid. Still working on first touch and composure in final third. Blazing speed. 

Walsh and Preusser taking turns in the Attacking midfield, playing the hot hand different games. 

Friedrich is a smart player that understands two ways, understands when to get inside, composed on the ball, passes very well, and not just service. She and Sawyer switched sides part of the game as they have in past games. Not a lot of touches Thursday.

SLU threatened multiple times in the 2nd half both before and after Louisville’s chances. Sawyer hit the cross bar from just outside the 18, and Abbie Miller’s follow up went over the bar:


Two minutes later, Louisville’s Maisie Whitsett (who had a strong game at right back) takes some space past midfield off a SLU clear, and she slots a great low pass with pace and accuracy to target Nina Nicosia, just outside the box who slots a through ball to Bentley who beat Heckel and Heckel fouled her from behind for the pk. Puricelli saved the PK with a bit of a repeat of the Evansville game. 


Let’s rewind that a second. Heckel clears to near midfield, Whitsett settles, and calmly takes the wide open space diagonally forward. Nicosia positioned between Miller and Kohl unmarked. Heckel was inside but caught flat footed. That type of play and pass from Whitsett is something SLU misses right now with Halverson. It was a correct foul/pk call. I tend to lean towards not giving pk’s unless it’s pretty clear a goal was saved. This one was a fair call. Later in the game Gaebe appeared to possibly have drawn a pk, and went down in the box. SLU wanted a pk. I woukd have to see it again. 

A little bit later Lousiville breaks through on a similar looking play. This is a play that also looks similar to the first minute at Kansas. Nicosia wins a 50/50 ball from Kohl near midfield, makes a central run towards goal. Heckel steps out half way not close enough to stop ball, and not taking a forward. Houck and Beach were wide, Miller slow to get back, no attacking mid or wide mids on SLU’s half o the field. So this leaves Stram alone drifting back to the 18 playing a space and not a player. Heckel chose to play the ball leaving Morgan Bentley for Stram, but Stram was slow getting over and Bentley rips low corner to Puricelli’s left for the goal:


Nicosia set up both goal opportunities with terrific final third interior passing. And Bentley was on the receiving end both times. 

So, a pattern of opponent goals and chances from turnovers and clears, just inside SLU’s half of the field exists, where the opposing midfielder is able to run diagonally to the center of SLU’s 18. Adjustments with how to defend this need to be made from a variety of people.  

Another component is first touch. Some first touch has been a bit strong too often. That led to Louisville’s goal. 

Sawyer and Summers had a few more chances for SLU. Summers in particular had more time to settle and make a play in alone towards goal. 



Louisville crowded the midfield, so SLU played many angled balls over the top for Sawyer etc..some were successful, others had poor execution.   But SLU found something on the back left side and repeatedly went after it which is how you do it until Ul adjauts. Louisville was giving that to SLU and it was wide open often. 

Passing/execution really needs to be more crisp and improved. Several soft horizontal back line passes early from SLU’s inside backs and several disconnected passes from mids to forwards out of the back. 

SLU was not as effective as usual on offensive set pieces and corners. A few chances:


Finishing and poise in the final third is something that can be improved. A bit too rushed too often. Shot accuracy as well. Many balls over the goal, several games. Kelly in particular does this a lot. I liked Kelly’s time at wide midfield. I think she can be effective in the midfield. Louisville, KU etc…have been pretty clinical with their finishing with their chances, accurately burying shots low into the corners from 18 yards out. And that’s been a difference.

Defensive transition positioning in SLU’s own third, is also an area that can be improved. 

That was a very winnable game. SLU did various things well. Plenty of things to like. But the ball is bouncing the other way a little bit right now. It tends to do that when execution needs a little tweaking here or therefore . These are very correctable things and SLU has the personnel that can do them. 

Louisville essentially played just 2 subs. (technically 4 but just 2 for any significant time) Very fit team. 5 year starting keeper was solid. No mistakes. 

Shots were 10 for each time and corners were 5-3 SLU. 

Notes: St. Louisan Chloe Netzel scores the game winner in Xavier’s 2-1 win at Illinois. Xavier is 5-0 for the first time since 25 years. Kansas falls 1-0 at Memphis. Iowa was a lopsided winner. Illinois St. hung tough with Utah from the Pac 12 but they couldn’t find the equalizer in a 1-0 defeat.

SLU at Purdue will be a challenge. Purdue is 2-1-2, and has draws at Vandy and vs Kentucky. Their only loss was a close 1-0 game at Notre Dame who is having a bit of a bounce back season this far. Good opportunity Sunday for SLU on the road.


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Purdue 2 SLU 1.

SLU starters. Halverson returns from injury. Groark is out reinjuring her left knee last game. 

Puricelli, Houck, Stram, Heckel, Halverson in back. Kohl, Miller. Sawyer wide right. Friedrich wide left. Kelly up top. 

Physical game. Slow start to each half but overall pretty even game. SLU was better in the first half. Purdue the 2nd. Threatening shots and chances were pretty even. Purdue shot way more often (they were not afraid to shoot) but many of the extra ones were non threatening. 7-5 corners for SLU. More offensive chances similar to Louisville. But SLU is still finding ways to lose close games. Houck banged heads late, didn’t return. Miller injured twice in the game. Once in the first half on a clear back post cross she flicked it wide and a Purdue player took out her leg. She returned 2nd half after being helped off. Moved slowly rest of the game. 50/50 head ball she banged heads with a Purdue player in the 2nd half. Purdue went all out for head balls. 

The official was visibly frustrated a couple of times when a SLU player would get a head injury and SLU was slow to send someone out to attend to a player. 

First few minutes Purdue pressures a bit until SLU settles into the game, and, Halverson shows why she has been missed. She does not allow service into the box from deep wings. She comes out and pressures forwards and wings. She moves up in the play, but she also recovers to where she needs to be. She was doing this while not 100%. She has a speed and high motor that SLU needs more in back. (This is something 2023 commit Autumn Jackson has in her game) With Halverson and Beach not 100% much of the time, this really has had a big effect with regards to quickness in back. 

Halverson was on limited minutes both halves. She was unfortunately beaten back post on Purdue’s first goal in the 2nd half. 55th minute, Dunaway makes a run and service from right wing and Duarte buries the header in full stride back post run. 


Sarah Griffith (She was a handful all game, 2nd team all Big Ten) made it 2-0 on 82nd minute in similar fashion as Houck sprinted to mark two people back post, all 3 collide, 2 bang heads and a goal. Service wast closed out. Stram didn’t mark tight enough. It was a seemingly harmless service from distance. Both Houck and a Purdue player injured on the play. Official saw it as a play on 50/50 ball. Could have been a Purdue foul, no goal, SLU free kick.


2-1. Emily Gaebe gets one back as SLU pressured. Walsh flicks a through ball to edge of the box between two defenders, game beats both, cuts it back right foot, rips it upper right corner. Gaebe scores goals, puts pressure on the defense, wins corners. Would pair well with a different type of forward. 

First half:

Purdue worked the left side of the field (Sawyer’s side) with Griffith wide left. Very good technically, ripped a left foot far post grazed the bar, after beating two SLU defenders.

Kelly had a few chances as did Sawyer. Kelly is struggling with her shots. She again had a few opportunities as a target (where she’s best) to turn inside the 18 and rip far post. Needs to be quicker getting them off, stronger on the ball, more emphasis on lower targets. 

Houck had SLU’s best chance. Gaebe won several corners for SLU on the day, and after Kelly’s shot was blocked Houck lifts one high from the 5 yard line and Purdue’s keeper makes the save of the match just getting a hand on it to tip a would be goal, over the goal, just before half time. SLU isn’t getting the first one that could change a game. SLU does need to work on better game starts.


2nd half Purdue worked SLU’s left side defense. Puricelli made one nice kick save extension. Otherwise it was the two far post runs, and Purdue buried their headers. 


Very limited minutes for Friedrich in the game as she wasn’t moving well. 

Formation was the same. Only personnel moved around. SLU likes to play Sawyer and Friedrich on opposite sides each half. When Gaebe checks in, of Kelly remains in the game, she moves to wide mid. Kelly has been more effective at wide mid than up top this season. Idealistically Groark would play up top with Gaebe or Sawyer at various times. But Sawyer has been very valuable wide mid. She has been the fastest player on the field in several games. Sawyer made a lot of nice runs at wide mid. She cut must of those inside. She also played up top at times as she does in other games when SLU rotates players.

Summers isn’t 100% and has been less effective than before her injury, mostly playing wide mid. Brinkman played some defensive midfield when Miller exited with injury. Natural position is outside back, but she has been a defensive mid option when needed. She had a good scoring opportunity here:


Walsh has been most effective in the center of the field in the attacking third, servicing forwards from behind, slotting through balls. She has been much less effective when she gets wide in the offensive third, and she isn’t a two way player. Preusser getting very limited minutes. Would like to see SLU get more value from the central attacking midfield. 

Passing combinations still need improvement at times especially in back, especially early in games. That improves more during the game. 

I still think SLU will eventually turn things around. 

Next game is Thursday vs Missouri St.

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SLU alum Maddie Pokorny set up the first goal, in a 2-0, 2nd leg win (3-0 aggregate) for HB Koge (Denmark) over AC Sparta Prague, (Czech Republic) to advance to the Champions League Group Stage. In the 52nd minute, Pokorny, who had a strong game, forced a turnover, used her pace on the ball, on the wing, to deliver a diagonal ball to Cecilie Floe who finished for the 1-0 lead.



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SLU hosts Missouri St. 

MSU Head Coach Rob Brewer is retiring at the end of the season. He has been their only HC since the program began in 1996. (same year as SLU) I would would expect Associate Head Coach Kirk Nelson, a fellow former Virginia Tech player, and current Midwest Region ODP Coach, (so he’s familiar with some of the better prep players in the region) to get strong consideration. 

MSU is a mix of Stl, KC, rest of MO, and a little bit International. Former Billiken Isabel Burke is a backline stalwart. As she did at SLU she has started just about every game for MSU. Multiple year 2nd Team MVC.

They have a promising Freshmen class. Kaeli Benedict has been able to crack the starting lineup as a Freshman in the midfield. She was an all region local Stl player at Pattonville (LFA Girls Academy)

Grace O Keefe was the Gatorade Kansas Player of the Year. She’s a goal scorer. 

They also have a 2022 commit from local midfielder Hailey Chambliss.

MSU’s attack has had several goals from transition runs down the right side for one time finishing off of service. (This is how Purdue scored twice vs SLU) Kennady Orlick is one to look for there. Defending free kicks and corners will be needed too.

SLU has been committed to its principles, formation and approach w/o big changes. However I think there will be a few adjustments. At times SLU has played a little too rushed, especially in the offensive half of the field w/o having all of its personnel to play that way, in that formation. A commitment to fundamentals first has been needed, and w/that, building more deliberately to play the way they want to play. 

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SLU 0 Missouri St. 0 2 OT

Groark, Friedrich not dressed. Miller and Halverson came off of the bench. (see previous game injury posts for reasons)

Gaebe gets the start up top, and, 10 times in the first 20 plus minutes of the game, Gaebe was getting shots on goal, winning corners, getting slide tackled in the box on a goal saving play, slotting passes for others in the box, service far post, forcing throw ins. Gaebe repeatedly beat defenders to the back end line in the 2nd half for low service. (too much high service from others) for near misses including one of multiple posts hit by Kelly alone, let alone other SLU players. 

When Gaebe plays, she plays up top aa a forward. This moves both Sawyer and Kelly to wide midfield wings in SLU’s formation. And, Walsh is in the central attacking mid position. Kelly did a good job much of the game playing the middle of the attacking midfield where she can be more effective. 

Much better passing, combination play, overlapping runs etc for SLU in this game. 

SLU hasn’t been able to finish set pieces and corners, and, they haven’t been this year as they were last season. In part, Friedrich has been out a lot. It’s an under valued skillset. SLU needs more back side runners more often, both in transition and on set pieces, as frequent opportunities have been there for that.

Halverson came off of the bench in her limited minutes. She started both halves vs MSU in limited minutes vs Purdue but she flashed one of the missing aspects for SLU, high pressure energy defense, moving up the wing as an outside back into the offense with pace, while still recovering position. 

SLU has lost a few close games because of two things: 1) Opponent makes a North South run and blasts a perfect shot from 18-20 yards out. 2) Opponent makes a wing transition run and provides service for a one time finish. These are two of the areas of improvement needed both offensively and defensively for SLU. In last night’s game, only the former applied. At times SLU needs more poise on the ball to make an extra pass, and at times SLU needs more poise on the ball to take a more accurate shot. Several other goal mouth scrambles where SLU just couldn’t get the final tap in.

First minutes in two years for Anna Lawler. She brings size, pace, cerebral technical ability, in the defensive midfield while also being able to support the offensive attack. Makes good decisions. This is also provides much needed depth to the defensive midfield.

SLU is still committed to its formation, but moved Halverson up at times, and moved its wings inside more often. 

Sawyer, Walsh, Kelly, had good games but the final 18-20 yards has opportunity for improvement. Not having Groark almost all of the season has been a big hole to for SLU to fill, as she would ideally pair well with Gaebe, leaving Walsh, Sawyer, and Kelly supporting in the midfield. And that doesn’t even address how much SLU has missed Friedrich as well. Both she and Groark are more polished players which is the difference on offense vs some others. 

24 shots for SLU, 11 corners. It takes a lot of pressure off of the defense. Endless chances to score that were near misses. Tough result. 

Another opportunity for SLU Sunday vs Indiana St. 

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SLU 3 Indiana St. 0. SLU controlled the game start to finish. Shots were 20-8, corners 4-1. 

Indiana St. Coach Julie Hanley was a one time Illinois St. Grad Assistant, an Iowa assistant, and a former KU Keeper as a player. (Purdue, Illinois St. connection, and Kansas, frequent SLU opponent)

SLU Freshman Emily Gaebe was able to go head to head with Indiana St. Freshman Defender Maddie Helling. (They were high school teammates.) Gaebe and her Freshman roommate Hannah Sawyer provided the scoring, and much of the several scoring chances for SLU.  

Out today for SLU: Friedrich, Groark. 

Lineup was similar to recent games with Gaebe up top and Kelly and and Sawyer wide. Beach and Halverson sharing outside back time while Heckel, Stram, go full 90. (Houck banged heads with an Indiana St. player, as she did in the Purdue game, but she later returned. Very tough player who has provided very quality back line play with high volume minutes for SLU this season.)

SLU was able to go deep into the bench and Natalie Phelps was able to get her first minutes as a keeper since the exhibition games. 10 subs, and slowly, gradually more time for Lawler in the midfield. She adds depth with Miler and Kohl. 

Sawyer’s 2 goals were roughly similar, long balls from Abbie Miller with one being more of a through ball and one being over the top. Sawyer has been dangerous much of the season with her speed. Indiana St. played a high line and were caught flat footed  a few times.

Gaebe’s goal, she bodied a pass from Kelly, beats her defender, and finishes far post upper 90. 

All 3 goals:

Not a lot of work for Puricelli before exiting but she was ready:


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The Atlantic 10 named SLU Freshman Hannah Sawyer Co Rookie of the Week after her two goal performance in SLU’s 3-0 win over Indiana St. (Fellow Freshman Emiky Gaebe provided the other goal). They will have a nice challenge this weekend.

Upcoming Sunday opponent Dayton will bring a couple of A-10 Defensive Player of the Week players this fall for Dayton. Marlee Taylor and Mackenzie Lutz. Lutz is a Center Back, 3 year starter, A-10 2nd Team this past season, and, older sister of 2023 SLU commit Macy Lutz. 

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2 hours ago, courtside said:

The Atlantic 10 named SLU Freshman Hannah Sawyer Co Rookie of the Week after her two goal performance in SLU’s 3-0 win over Indiana St. (Fellow Freshman Emiky Gaebe provided the other goal). They will have a nice challenge this weekend.

As someone who doesn't follow the women's soccer team very closely, it seems like nearly all of their best players are named Hannah.  

Per SSA website, Hannah was in the top 5 of most common girl names from 1997-2004, so I guess that makes sense.

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1 hour ago, RUBillsFan said:

As someone who doesn't follow the women's soccer team very closely, it seems like nearly all of their best players are named Hannah.  

Per SSA website, Hannah was in the top 5 of most common girl names from 1997-2004, so I guess that makes sense.

Well, Emily Groark, Emily Gaebe, and Emily Puricelli may have something to say about that. And, Brionna Halverson, Brianna Hatfield, and Brianna Arthur would like a word. Katelyn Brinkman, Katie Houck, Sophia Denison, and Sophia Stram, Anna Lawler, and Anna Walsh say hey. 

But, you’ll be pleased to know that 2022 Hannah Smith, a Wing Midfielder/Forward, (Eureka High School, First Team All State as a Junior, U18/19 SLSG Club Soccer) will be playing for SLU next year, adding to the Hannahs (Friedrich, Sawyer, Larson) yet again. The Emily’s tried but settled for an Ellie (Paloucek) instead for 2022.


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19 hours ago, courtside said:

Well, Emily Groark, Emily Gaebe, and Emily Puricelli may have something to say about that. And, Brionna Halverson, Brianna Hatfield, and Brianna Arthur would like a word. Katelyn Brinkman, Katie Houck, Sophia Denison, and Sophia Stram, Anna Lawler, and Anna Walsh say hey. 

But, you’ll be pleased to know that 2022 Hannah Smith, a Wing Midfielder/Forward, (Eureka High School, First Team All State as a Junior, U18/19 SLSG Club Soccer) will be playing for SLU next year, adding to the Hannahs (Friedrich, Sawyer, Larson) yet again. The Emily’s tried but settled for an Ellie (Paloucek) instead for 2022.


Ha.  For whatever reason Hannah sticks out more to me than Emily.  I think sometimes the Annas blend in with the Hannahs.

FWIW, Emily was the #1 girl name in the US from 1996 - 2007 and was top 5 every year from 1993- 2008.  Emily started losing ground to Emma which has been top 5 from 2002 - present with 6 #1s in that span.  Expect an influx of Emmas on the team in the coming years.

SLU is actually ahead of the curve on Sophias because that name didn't break the top 5 until 2009.  

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SLU opponent Xavier, is 17th in this week’s United Soccer Coaches Poll. They are 7-0-0, their best start in 31 years. They also have the Bg East Conference Freshman of the Week in St. Louisan, Chloe Netzel. (former club teammate of Emily Gaebe and Madelyn Smith and Xavier’s leading scorer thus far)


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SLU 1 Dayton 0. 

Hard fought, physical win for SLU over Dayton. Abbie Miller PK goal for SLU in the 80th minute was the difference. Fortunate play for SLU to get the hand ball in the box, but if you keep pressing and forcing corners and free kicks, you create more opportunities for yourself.

SLU controlled all of the first half, possessed the ball well throughout, defended passing lanes, marked tighter and higher in the midfield, forcing turnovers and turning it into combination play. SLU had about 5 or 6 good chances in the first half. 

11th minute Gaebe on the right side of the box centering for Sawyer. 13th minute, Sawyer to Gaebe as a target edge of the box. Had she cut left she could have had one, but she cut in right into help defense.

13th minute Friedrich 1v1 on wing to Walsh near post couldn’t get to it.

15th minute Houck a give and go with Walsh, nice cross over Sawyer, Kohl lays it off to Miller who centers to Gaebe all alone, 5 yards out, and she flicks it off the post for a near miss. She had a little more time for the settle and finish.

Later in the half, 35th minute, Preusser corner to Miller, a nice driving far post header but a solid keeper save for Dayton. A minute later Summers working hard on left wing centers outside of top of the box. Lawler wins the ball between two Dayton players and rips a 25 yard rocket off of the cross bar far post.

42nd minute, Lawler again, receives a nice service from Brinkman wide left, used her body to shield the defender, in alone 5 yards out but her shot is right at the keeper who deflects it away. She’d like that one back. 

Dayton was much improved in the 2nd half. Puricelli had to make 1 or 2 nice saves but not many. SLU won several corners and free kicks later in the half. Bri Arthur, who had a nice game off of the bench on the wing for SLU, worked well on the left side, and she had a great chance in alone but waited a second too long to finish. Halverson hit a rocket off of the clear, and another solid Dayton keeper save to keep it 1-0.

SLU’s mids and wings defended better vs Dayton. Forced a lot of turnovers and combined passes much better. And they collapsed the middle of the defense well on counters to force Dayton out wide more often. Final third wasn’t there today, but credit Dayton who’s back line is good, and m, they play physical. Mackenzie Lutz, older sister of 2023 SLU commit Macy Lutz had a nice game at inside back for Dayton. 

Abbie Miller banged heads hard on a corner, for at least the 3rd game in the past several games. Quickly returned a few minutes later.


Groark, Beach, Stureman, Smith, Denison, were out for SLU. Friedrich played less than 100%. Halverson increased her minutes with Beach out. (very active and productive two ways at outside back) Brinkman saw left back time. Gaebe started up top, Kelly came off of the bench both at wide mid and up top. Friedrich and Sawyer started on the wings. Kelly has been more effective in the midfield. Summers spent some time on the wing. Sawyer played mostly on the wing.. Kohl and Miller at defensive mid with Lawler getting time. And Walsh at attacking mid much of the game with Preusser getting some time. 

Shots were 9-8 SLU, (misleading) corners 5-0 SLU. Dayton had 16 fouls. SLU had 15. 

It was a good win for SLU. Some things to work on too. 





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