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SLU Women's Soccer Thread (2020 - 2021)


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46 minutes ago, courtside said:

Like I said, good luck to you. You know where to find us if you wish to talk some SLU Soccer. Everyone is welcome here. You would have probably found more agreement on some things than you might think had you given it a try. Everyone can learn something from someone else. Nobody has all of the answers. Take care. 

More FOS. Just constant contradiction from what you say from on sentence to another. “Everyone is welcome here” unless you disagree with courtside. “Nobody has all the answers” but courtside will tell you what’s right. I’ll talk SLU soccer via text with my good friends who played there, when you didn’t. 

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8 hours ago, courtside said:

I think that’s part of it. But I think there’s more to it than that. 

Injuries. I am generally someone that has a next player up mentality. Injuries are a part of the game, especially the Women’s game. But it’s really finding a balance between the two things. Okay, there are injuries, lots and lots of injuries, how can they be overcome?

Larson is a great player as you’ve mentioned. SLU played well and lost a PK game with Washington (who was also missing a top player due to injury) in the NCAA Tourney. And, Larson’s big loss was known and expected for many months before this season. SLU could plan for it as best they could.

Other unexpected offensive injuries have added to that. I happened to have seen some of the great summer and preseason Groark was having. She was 1st team all U23 Semi Pro ball this Summer. She was good in the exhibition game. She has the ability to play up top, or any of the offensive midfield positions. She has technical ability, pace, and she understands the roles of a Forward at this level. Anyone who saw the Illinois State game saw it a little bit there. Hannah Friedrich hasn’t been healthy all season. She has either missed games or played at less than 100% in many other games. So that’s 3 players that all would be starting attacking players with different skillsets for SLU. 

So, what that does is push less experienced players into unexpected roles offensively. Larson was a top 100 recruit. (I will be posting recruiting stuff soon). And she was an offensive playing type of top 100 recruit. It’s difficult for that level of recruit let alone others to adjust to the pace and physicality of the college game while still trying to maintain shape etc..

And we are only getting started with injuries. The injuries to Beach and Halverson were particularly challenging because they add the speed and pace component at outside back. Recovery speed on D, pushing up to play with offense, providing help d in the middle etc…It puts more pressure on the center of the defense, in the defensive midfield and middle of the back line. So, with some missing offense, SLU has had to be near perfect on D. But with some players missing there too, one goal in a tight game can make a difference.

What can SLU do differently? They can change formations (again challenging) and pair both a target and space forward together. They can change positions with a few players. (They have recently done this with a few players) Some could say that some of these changes could have come sooner. 

How is SLU giving up goals? Midfield transition towards goal, and, in play, back post service. Many of their allowed goals have come this way. There are personnel, formation and alignment things SLU can do about some of those things. 

How can SLU score more goals? Watching Sawyer’s speed illustrates the missing speed of a Larson, Groark, Halverson etc at times this season. She just needs a little time to add to her game. I’ve mentioned before that Gaebe and Kelly play better together either as two Forwards, or with Gaebe up top and Kelly in either central attacking mid or the wing. 

SLU relies a lot on set pieces for scoring chances, as well as pressing their opponents. That personnel hasn’t been there at times. And it’s also cost SLU a bit on counters.

What else can they do? SLU plays a deep two person defensive midfield. They can play their wings in tighter. They can play more diagonal balls offensively. They can mark tighter and higher in midfield and backline defensively. 

It isn’t as if SLU has been too far away despite missing a lot of players and others not playing 100%. They can do some things, but with others they will be limited based on personnel. Their margin for error is much smaller. 

I can say that SLU has a lot of season left to get good results. They return a lot of players next season, and, recruiting has been good. 

It’s good to have some SLU soccer interest and discussion. 

Agree with all of this. Wasn’t insinuating it was the sole problem, just that her loss is bigger issue than I think many realize.

Though we have many good offensive players none have the ability to create and take defenders on 1v1 like Hannah L. She’s a different player than anyone else we have. 

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8 hours ago, slufanskip said:

Agree with all of this. Wasn’t insinuating it was the sole problem, just that her loss is bigger issue than I think many realize.

Though we have many good offensive players none have the ability to create and take defenders on 1v1 like Hannah L. She’s a different player than anyone else we have. 

Yep. and I am not trying to down play the loss of one player as the main reason for some challenges. I don’t think Larson’s absence can be overstated for many of the reasons that you mention and have mentioned before. I think part of that is some people, perhaps including me, don’t want to think one player can make that much of a difference. But she is a difference making player, for some of the reasons you mention.

Another thing to note is Larson was a top 100 incoming Freshman. That was a big deal for SLU. Lawler and Groark were top 50 recruits that transferred from Oklahoma St. and Colorado. 

That shows some of the progression with recruiting, first landing several good transfers, then landing some of the bigger fish such as Larson, while also securing commitments from other good players. (Rankings aren’t everything. And I’ll get to that later. But they have value)

Both 2023 players Autumn Jackson and Jordan Gary are on the IMG top 150 list. Others such as Ashley Koch, and Lucie Schwartz are first team all ECNL. 9 conferences across the country, 300 playoff teams etc…this Saturday is SLU’s Fall ID Camp. 

I will post some recruiting posts as it has been a busy fall for that. Is there anything in particular anyone is interested in with regards to recruiting? 

 

 

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2 hours ago, courtside said:

 

I will post some recruiting posts as it has been a busy fall for that. Is there anything in particular anyone is interested in with regards to recruiting? 

 

 

-are they certain upgrades to the talent on the squad, play as frosh?  and what other schools were on them is what interests me, thanks for your content

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Courtside, Thank you again for all the information. As the parent of a very interested and invested youth soccer player the insight into the program is honestly unequaled. Neither she or I can thank you enough. I know most of you on the site are die hard SLU fans (i'm a recent convert from all things UC thanks to my daughter's interest) and the disappointment when your school/team takes a loss is real. But you really do have something special with this Women's team. From the players to the coaching staff it's different and most certainly not common. My kids been around a lot of programs and coaches and she felt the genuineness of it immediately. Literally she talks about it almost daily.  

Great teams lose games, great teams miss chances, and great teams make mistakes. It's a fantastic team of ladies and a well coached group crippled with key injuries. My daughters club team had a similar run in the middle of the club season, a nearly undefeatable team for years ravaged by a rash of injury and some mental breakdowns lost more games in 2 months than they had lost in 3 years. Lets face it, doesn't matter if they are 15-16 year old's or 20-21 years old's they are still young end evolving physically and mentally. But they fought out of it and found their success , and the SLU women will too. 

The program will get stronger. You all have some fantastic talent incoming (we've played against a number of them and you are lucky to have them) so the future is bright and these injuries will pass and all will be right. So many brilliant plays that have just escaped success this season. Thanks again Courtside! (by the way the long posts are just fine with us because you give so much info that for non locals that can only watch on TV it paints a much clearer picture for recruits. Probably helps the local ones as well.) 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Bearcat said:

Courtside, Thank you again for all the information. As the parent of a very interested and invested youth soccer player the insight into the program is honestly unequaled. Neither she or I can thank you enough. I know most of you on the site are die hard SLU fans (i'm a recent convert from all things UC thanks to my daughter's interest) and the disappointment when your school/team takes a loss is real. But you really do have something special with this Women's team. From the players to the coaching staff it's different and most certainly not common. My kids been around a lot of programs and coaches and she felt the genuineness of it immediately. Literally she talks about it almost daily.  

Great teams lose games, great teams miss chances, and great teams make mistakes. It's a fantastic team of ladies and a well coached group crippled with key injuries. My daughters club team had a similar run in the middle of the club season, a nearly undefeatable team for years ravaged by a rash of injury and some mental breakdowns lost more games in 2 months than they had lost in 3 years. Lets face it, doesn't matter if they are 15-16 year old's or 20-21 years old's they are still young end evolving physically and mentally. But they fought out of it and found their success , and the SLU women will too. 

The program will get stronger. You all have some fantastic talent incoming (we've played against a number of them and you are lucky to have them) so the future is bright and these injuries will pass and all will be right. So many brilliant plays that have just escaped success this season. Thanks again Courtside! (by the way the long posts are just fine with us because you give so much info that for non locals that can only watch on TV it paints a much clearer picture for recruits. Probably helps the local ones as well.) 

 

 

-if your daughter is good enough for CKatie to offer I hope she accepts and has a great experience at SLU

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Recruiting. It’s a lot so it will probably be broken up into sub categories in different posts over time. 

This one will be about recruiting rankings, stars, accolades as it pertains to SLU commits or players, how good are they and where they play. I will post about other schools considered, club team landscape, etc in a separate post. 

Recruiting rankings are valuable because all of the players in them are legit, best of the best type of players. However, there are also some very good players not on them, in addition to them.

Part of it is being seen. Higher profile club team, playing in higher profile events, playoffs, tourneys, showcases, in front of coaches, talent evaluators etc..and whether or not the player is active and aggressive with their own profile, videos etc…But there is still the saying that if you’re good, someone will find you. Other things to look for are other resume builders, ODP (Olympic Development Program) players, National and Regional invites, club and high school recognition etc and so on. 

Some high rated players play right away in college. Some eventually become top players over time in college. Some struggle. Some in the middle. It varies. If anything I see some players are under recruited that deserve better attention. I know one current top 30 College Freshman who has struggled a bit with the college pace, physicality, and keeping team shape at the same time.

With that said, there are multiple ranking systems. One of the most popular is the IMG Top 150, which really extends to 200, plus a few regional players ranked in each region beyond that. 

As mentioned, Larson was an IMG top 100 player. Most of these players receive stars as in 4 star or 3 star. Both of those star levels are very good. 5 stars is super rare like Big Foot.

Anna Lawler and Emily Groark were top 50 players. 2023 Autumn Jackson is top 150. Jordan Gary is just beyond that. 2023 Ashley Koch and 2023 Lucie Schwartz are not but are good enough. For example they both made 1st team all ECNL (I will explain later what that is) when some highly rated players didn’t. Jordan Gary was also 1st team all ECNL and Autumn Jackson was 2nd team. 2022 Ellie Paloucek is in the Koch and Schwartz category, which is really the same as the others. 2022 Taylor Krueger and 2022 Lauren Hiatt as well. All of these players mentioned are considered 3 star players. Hiatt had a serious injury and came back in the Spring and Summer playing more and more and she is full tilt this Fall. 2022 Hannah Smith is another 3 star level player. 2023 Macy Lutz is good enough to be at this level. All of these players start for their high profile club teams, and have earned several other accolades. (We’ll get into that.)

All of the 2023 High School Juniors committed to SLU, committed prior to their first Junior commit last year. (Pandemic challenges, roster etc)

So where will they play at SLU? That can and probably will change a bit but…projecting would be…

Paloucek is an attacking midfielder (wing or central.) Hiatt is a defensive mid and outside back. Smith is a Forward or Wing. 

Jackson is an outside back/wing back. Gary is a physical player that can play all over the midfield and up top but a likely midfielder. Lutz is a back line defender just like her sister at Dayton. Koch is a Forward that can also projeft to midfield. Schwartz is natural left wing (she’s left footed) but can play in the middle and up top. I think she would do well on left wing or centrally. Lots of poise on the ball. 

Part of recruiting is need, spots available depending on the year, getting the best players etc…

The Larson class was very strong for SLU. The 2023 class is strong. 2022 is smaller but also strong. 

Using a recent example, 2021 Chloe Netzel is a Xavier Freshman, top 150 player, fast, tall, 5’9, goal scorer, played with Gaebe, Paloucek, Smith. She was a little bit under recruited by some in my opinion. She starts as a Freshman (plays about half the game) on the 8th best RPI team, leading scorer, on a team that has won 8 one goal games (difference between finding ways to win and finding ways to lose) and has not been shut out this year. Xavier won Big East and Big East Conference Tourney Titles 2 seasons ago. They had a down Spring when SLU beat them. But that can give some a good look at a roughly similar type of team and player. (2 back line St. Louisans on that team who are very good btw). 

All of SLU’s 2022 and 2023 recruits thus far are capable of playing as Freshmen. 

Another recent local example. Sydney Stephens was in Larson’s class. Waterloo, IL, SLSG. Forward, top 125. Committed to Georgia. But she struggled with the adjustment to the college game on/off field. Good person, good student, a leader, popular etc…nothing bad. (Georgia is having a strong season this year) so she transferred to Illinois. This Summer she was the best offensive player on SLSG U23 team that featured several SLU players. She starts and plays full 90 at Illinois. She has won Big 10 Weekly awards etc so far this season and she is doing well. 

Puricelli, Stram etc were also highly recruited players on SLU with National call ups, or Gatorade Player of the Year etc... 

With regard to rankings, star levels are based on being able to add something to your playing skill set. Technical, tactical, mental, physical. emotional etc…it’s very subjective of course.

SLU’s approach is to identify specific players they like, get in early to build a relationship. It is not a wide net approach. They do well locally, across the state and into Illinois. They have also worked at diversifying recruiting. SLU does go after the very best rated local players. Some like SLU but want to go away or want a different experience. Some have no little interest. Some they get. To be clear SLU is not in a position to get whomever they want locally/regionally. SLU also has done a nice job of getting a high profile transfers. And SLU sticks with injured players. Some schools abandon injured players. SLU does not. 

Additional recruiting post will look at club structure, ID Camps, other schools considered, etc…

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1 hour ago, Bearcat said:

Courtside, Thank you again for all the information. As the parent of a very interested and invested youth soccer player the insight into the program is honestly unequaled. Neither she or I can thank you enough. I know most of you on the site are die hard SLU fans (i'm a recent convert from all things UC thanks to my daughter's interest) and the disappointment when your school/team takes a loss is real. But you really do have something special with this Women's team. From the players to the coaching staff it's different and most certainly not common. My kids been around a lot of programs and coaches and she felt the genuineness of it immediately. Literally she talks about it almost daily.  

Great teams lose games, great teams miss chances, and great teams make mistakes. It's a fantastic team of ladies and a well coached group crippled with key injuries. My daughters club team had a similar run in the middle of the club season, a nearly undefeatable team for years ravaged by a rash of injury and some mental breakdowns lost more games in 2 months than they had lost in 3 years. Lets face it, doesn't matter if they are 15-16 year old's or 20-21 years old's they are still young end evolving physically and mentally. But they fought out of it and found their success , and the SLU women will too. 

The program will get stronger. You all have some fantastic talent incoming (we've played against a number of them and you are lucky to have them) so the future is bright and these injuries will pass and all will be right. So many brilliant plays that have just escaped success this season. Thanks again Courtside! (by the way the long posts are just fine with us because you give so much info that for non locals that can only watch on TV it paints a much clearer picture for recruits. Probably helps the local ones as well.) 

 

 

Thanks Bearcat.

The purpose of a game recap post is to put out a lot of info so that people can pick and choose more specific subtopic discussion about a specific game (or something else) from it. Maybe it is something someone saw in the game that they liked or didn’t like or noticed, or agreed with or would do differently or had a question about. It’s meant to be a starter of discussion as opposed to an end point. I don’t know everything and I don’t have all of the answers.

Anyone and everyone is welcome to take part in the discussion. Sometimes people will agree or disagree or see something differently ir have something to add etc…I do appreciate the kind words and feedback. 

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2022 Goalkeeper Rebecca “Becca” Wolterman (Ohio Elite/Badin HS) has committed to SLU. 

She was U17 1st Team ECNL Ohio Valley Conference this year.  Her U17 Ohio Elite Team reached the ECNL National Quarterfinals this Summer. 2022 SLU commit Lauren Hiatt plays in the same conference for Tennessee Soccer Club (TSC). (SLU player Bri Arthur played for Indiana Fire also in this conference)

Wolterman already has 9 shutouts this Fall for her high school team that is one of the best in D-II Ohio. Her U/18/19 Ohio Elite team will begin play in late November. 

Current SLU assistant Coach, and former Billiken standout player, Olivia Silverman, also played for Ohio Elite. It’s a club and a geography (Both Sophia Denison and Hannah Sawyer are from Cincinnati) that SLU recruits often. (including a few other current targets)

 

 

 

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This is a recruiting post. If you are not interested in recruiting, this isn’t a post for you. There will be some recruiting posts that try to cover some of the recruiting interests of some that have asked. This will be about College Visits and ID Camps.

Since tomorrow is SLU Women’s Soccer Fall ID Camp, and next Sunday is SLU Men’s Fall ID Camp, this post will be about ID Camps and College Visits. Other posts will include a rankings follow up, other schools considered, and other schools that landed SLU targets, club break down, etc..

What is an ID Camp? The short answer, is it’s a money maker for a school. The longer answer is more complex. 

ID Camps are a one day, all day camp, roughly 3-4 times per year. Invitations vary from very specifically targeted high priority recruiting targets, to some general interest school money makers. (some schools are better at this than others) Generally, often, there is some interest from the school in the players attending. Levels of interest vary. They are a half individual technical drills and skills, and afternoon scrimmaging.

Players come from across the country, locally, regionally to attend. SLU and other schools have had players later commit to SLU after ID Camp visits. Players also take unofficial visits at times where they can and do receive more individual attention. The NCAA rules apply, etc with regards to contact etc…i.e. levels of direct and indirect contact and when. It takes a big jump Summer after Sophomore year. 

From a player perspective, ID Camps are an opportunity to get in front of coaches, on campus to visit, ask questions, perform. Players will target specific schools of interest, and perhaps, also attend a few local to regional camps/schools for the experience, even if they are less interested in attending that school.  Some players will attend with a small group of teammates. Camps are not only University ID Camps. There are neutral site Camps as well. 

Some players attend a lot of camps at a lot of schools. Some attend a few specifically targeted school camps. Some don’t attend camps at all. 

When to go? Many players attend the Summer after their Sophomore year in high school. Some elite level, highly recruited players attend the Summer (Summer is big because it often conflicts less with school, and club or high school ball) after their Freshman year. (I know a local player that attended a top school’s camp in 8th grade recently) For players, the more personal your invite the more interest the school has in you.

Examples: A few of the best ranked local players attended camps this Summer from Florida St. to Virginia to Wisconsin to Stanford, etc…and the mutual interest varies, and, can also change over time. But getting an invite to one of the best soccer schools in the country is big time, so often times a player will go even if it’s just for the experience. They will also select and compare to a few other schools on their list. For some other players at other levels, getting an invite to a non top school is a big deal for them too. The key for schools and players is to gauge serious mutual interest via mutual communication quality. The more personalized the communication from the school the more interest they have in you.

2023 SLU commit Autumn Jackson attended a U Wisconsin ID camp with about a half dozen or more of her club teammates in various age groups. (some are SLU recruiting targets) Wisconsin already has local Stl Freshman, a 2022 commit (top 50-75) and 2023 commit (top 125). Yes, Wisconsin has something going with local recruiting. So does SLU, so do a few other schools. Sometimes you will see a handful of players attend the same school in small waves. Sometimes schools recruit well in specific markets. One SLU target out of Kansas City recently committed to Oklahoma St. That’s a familiar name in the KC and Stl markets. West Virginia has a thing going in KC right now. Arkansas has had something going in both KC and Stl. and so on…we’ll get to that in the schools of interests post. What other schools did SLU recruits consider? And, what schools did some SLU targets choose instead of SLU? This will be its own post.

2023 SLU commit Ashley Koch attended a SLU ID camp this Summer with a few of her teammates of different classes that are SLU targets. 

Often the 2nd staff assistant will run the camp with full staff there, and some current players working the camp. 

Schools also have club nights for local and regional club teams to attend a game. And informally, many local/regional players attend various games.  SLU for example, gets good local and regional game turnout from younger players.

SLU even attends recruit targets games in other sports if they play them. Club league games, events, showcases, tourneys, summer playoff events in Florida or California, friendlies, practice. Several schools have come to St. Louis to hold day or evening sessions with club teams. These often include KU, Mizzou, Iowa etc types of regional schools. 

 

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Another day, another Goalkeeper Commit for SLU. 

2023 Maddie Sibbing, KCSG/Lee’s Summit North, has committed to SLU. 

She was 2nd Team Missouri Class 4 (Large Schools) All State as a Sophomore. She plays in the P.R.O. division of USYS with her KCSG club team. (highest division). She has played ODP and has been to several ODP regional invites. 

 

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Keepers:  We talked this Summer about SLU recruiting some keepers. One of those keepers a 2023 (from the Upper Midwest) top 10 ranked keeper for her class, committed to Virginia this week. Another, from the Mid South (2023) committed to Ole Miss.. Both had some SLU mutual interest.

One of SLU's new commits was a top 9 keeper for her class in the ECNL (125 clubs) this season, on a national quarterfinal playoff team. The other SLU commit is also very good. Only one large school keeper received higher recognition this past year. And, she was just a Sophomore. Both had break out years that saw their recruiting interest rise.

The local area often produces strong keepers. A 2022 keeper is headed to Memphis. A few uncommitted. There is also good coaching for keepers locally.

There is a local 2023 keeper that is on the rise in recruiting after some break out ODP performances. 

There are also a few highly ranked and highly recruited local keepers from the start. 2024 keeper that SLU has recruited, is a top 5 keeper nationally for her age (top 100 overall). (She's already visited a top Pac 12 school, Big 10 school, Big 12 school and is also being recruited by ACC, SEC and Ivy league schools. And, there is a top 2 national keeper (top 20 overall) locally in the 2025 class. 

 

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2023 Nina Preusser, younger sister of SLU’s Jess Preusser, has committed to SLU. 

We’ve talked about Nina and her game here in the past. Very skilled and poised technically on the ball in the central attacking midfield, a cerebral player. Can play some wing and up top. Has good length (she’s already taller than Jess) as well. Takes free kicks and corners for her high school (Nerinx Hall) and club team (Sporting Stl GA) where her dad Mike is one of her coaches. Nina attended SLU’s Summer ID Camp.

Nina helped lead her high school team to the Missouri large schools State Championship game as a Sophomore. And, her club team was ranked in the top 25 nationally this year for U17. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, courtside said:

Keepers:  We talked this Summer about SLU recruiting some keepers. One of those keepers a 2023 (from the Upper Midwest) top 10 ranked keeper for her class, committed to Virginia this week. Another, from the Mid South (2023) committed to Ole Miss.. Both had some SLU mutual interest.

One of SLU's new commits was a top 9 keeper for her class in the ECNL (125 clubs) this season, on a national quarterfinal playoff team. The other SLU commit is also very good. Only one large school keeper received higher recognition this past year. And, she was just a Sophomore. Both had break out years that saw their recruiting interest rise.

The local area often produces strong keepers. A 2022 keeper is headed to Memphis. A few uncommitted. There is also good coaching for keepers locally.

There is a local 2023 keeper that is on the rise in recruiting after some break out ODP performances. 

There are also a few highly ranked and highly recruited local keepers from the start. 2024 keeper that SLU has recruited, is a top 5 keeper nationally for her age (top 100 overall). (She's already visited a top Pac 12 school, Big 10 school, Big 12 school and is also being recruited by ACC, SEC and Ivy league schools. And, there is a top 2 national keeper (top 20 overall) locally in the 2025 class. 

 

Just curious - why aren't you naming the players here instead of just saying "one of those keepers", "another keeper", "one of SLU's new commits", etc.

Is it common to get commitments from 2 keepers in back to back classes especially when your current starter is just a sophomore?  Keeper seems like a position that gets crowded quickly since it's just one spot and you'd expect your best keeper to get most of the playing time.  Based on the official roster it looks like SLU is only carrying 2 keepers this season. (Puricelli - starter & Phelps - backup).  Both are sophomores, so barring a transfer they'll still be around for at least 2 seasons of Wolterman's career and 1 season of Sibbing's career.  Would we expect them to carry 4 keepers in 2023-24?

 

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1 hour ago, RUBillsFan said:

Just curious - why aren't you naming the players here instead of just saying "one of those keepers", "another keeper", "one of SLU's new commits", etc.

Is it common to get commitments from 2 keepers in back to back classes especially when your current starter is just a sophomore?  Keeper seems like a position that gets crowded quickly since it's just one spot and you'd expect your best keeper to get most of the playing time.  Based on the official roster it looks like SLU is only carrying 2 keepers this season. (Puricelli - starter & Phelps - backup).  Both are sophomores, so barring a transfer they'll still be around for at least 2 seasons of Wolterman's career and 1 season of Sibbing's career.  Would we expect them to carry 4 keepers in 2023-24?

 

I’m not sure if this has been discussed, but the current limit for Women’s D1 scholarships is 14 and can be divided among the players. I’m not even sure if SLU is using their full allotment. I know there was a time when they were not. Many commitments are just getting a small scholarship and are basically a preferred walk on. 
Regarding the current season, I have seen the current team play 4 games and they have some serious deficiencies in the MF. I was stunned at the lack of technical ability in some of the basics. Frequently they have been unable or unwilling to bring a ball down and control it and instead just flail at it while in the air and losing possession. Perhaps it’s just a lack of confidence and will improve with game experience. I was expecting a lot more from a team with top 25 aspirations.

 

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5 hours ago, RUBillsFan said:

Just curious - why aren't you naming the players here instead of just saying "one of those keepers", "another keeper", "one of SLU's new commits", etc.

Is it common to get commitments from 2 keepers in back to back classes especially when your current starter is just a sophomore?  Keeper seems like a position that gets crowded quickly since it's just one spot and you'd expect your best keeper to get most of the playing time.  Based on the official roster it looks like SLU is only carrying 2 keepers this season. (Puricelli - starter & Phelps - backup).  Both are sophomores, so barring a transfer they'll still be around for at least 2 seasons of Wolterman's career and 1 season of Sibbing's career.  Would we expect them to carry 4 keepers in 2023-24?

 

That’s a lot. So the answer will be too. You asked so, let’s take a look. 

I name every SLU commit here, describe their games etc…answer anything I can, not sure what you mean by that one. 

I do get asked privately about many other players, especially local/regional ones. And I get asked about other schools often. I believe there is a lot of value in understanding the landscape of players that commit elsewhere, as well as what other schools are doing, while still keeping SLU as the focus. (I’m aware it isn’t for everyone)

In your mentioned example, a couple of exampled SLU Keeper targets were Victoria Safradin, who is from Cleveland, OH, plays for International SC (ISC) ECNL. She plays in the same conference as SLU’s keeper commit, Becca Wolterman who made 1st Team U17 ECNL. (Safradin made 2nd team playing up in U18/19) Safradin helped lead her U18/19 club team to the national championship game where they lost to Eclipse Select in the final. Her strong play turned a lot of heads.

SLU had gotten in early, doing a nice job of identifying talent. But she was destined for the big time so to speak. (SLSG locally finished in the National Quarterfinals falling to Charlotte) Safradin is an example of a player that SLU recruited well, that instead chose Virginia over several great choices. Safradin was recently named to the U17 Fall Training for the US. World Cup Team. Virginia is a soccer and academic power in one of the best soccer leagues in America. 

Addie Yelin was the other mentioned example keeper that SLU had recruited. She plays for FC Alliance out of Knoxville, TN, ECNL. She committed to Ole Miss. 

SLU has also recruited 2024 Taylor Gardner, SLSG. Top 100 player and top 5 National Keeper for her age. She splits time with her other superstar keeper teammate who is a top 2 keeper nationally, Caroline Birkel. Gardner has visited Stanford (will be tough to beat), Wisconsin (SLU commit Autumn Jackson was on that campus visit) and Oklahoma. OU is recruiting well these days if anybody cares). She has other options too as she is just a Sophomore. Parker Scheele is a good local keeper that will land well soon. Sarah Bozeman is headed to Memphis. And so on. SLU landed two very good keepers who can play. And that’s what matters. They were both under recruited if anything.  

I prefer to keep the commit posts about the player who commits to SLU. I’m happy to mention other players in other posts if asked. 

Keeper playing time depends on the team and the keeper. It varies. SLU currently has an elite, high level keeper that gets almost all of the playing time. They originally expected to have 3 keepers this year. 3 is a common number for team keepers. Sometimes a keeper has to wait their turn to play. Other times they step in early with lots of playing time. Sometimes playing time is split. It all depends.

Example: Last year many in sports heard the story of Sarah Fuller who kicked st Vanderbilt Football etc…Sarah was a bench player her entire career at Vandy. They had two excellent keepers ahead of her that split time each game that graduated.(They were also roommates and best friends) Anyway, Vandy had a younger, better but inexperienced player ahead of Fuller. She struggled her first few games in high stakes competition. They were expecting to have a 3rd different young star keeper play but she had COVID-19 issues etc..so somehow Sarah unexpectedly got to play and walked right into  a national spotlight. So things can and do change year to year. 

Speaking of Vandy, they landed the highest rated recruit in the region last week, 2023 Sydney Watts, a top 25 National Player, Forward out of Sporting Blue Valley Kansas City. Her older sister a top 150 player is a 2022 KU commit. (I can assure you that SLU did their due diligence) SLU will battle for any player. Some have mutual interest and some don’t. Some have it for longer than others, until some big time schools come around. But SLU is much more competitive with that now. SLU earns a lot of respect with how they do things. I can say that. It isn’t easy. Sydney Watts and Bella Field (Arkansas commit)  SBV KC, were also named to the U17 U.S. Fall Camp roster. 

Natalie Phelps transferred from Illinois. Illinois has a star recruit as a Freshman. Their coach decided two of their keepers (they only had 2 since Phelps left) were not in the shape/prep they wanted, so they started a walk on, non-keeper player to start their season in goal. Mouths were open. It then became a thing where she started games but was immediately subbed out at keeper. (Many didn’t understand it) So, just take things year to year. 

SLU Men's keeper Patrick Schulte was a top 75 national recruit in his class, and one of the very best keepers nationally for his age. SLU has had a lot of really good keepers over the years with Men and Women's Soccer.

 

 

 

 

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SLU 2 UMass 0

Strong games from Hannah Friedrich and Bri Halverson for SLU. 

One of Friedrich’s better two way games of her injury riddled season. Pinching the middle of the field, forcing turnovers, creating chances, and, having a willingness to take several shots from distance. 

Halverson with accurate, diagonal, ground, passing with pace out of the back. Taking space, winning balls in the middle of the field and final third. She played right back only, moving Houck (also solid with Heckel) to left back for the first time this season. Beach played about 30. Lawler (quad) played about 10 at D mid. 

High quality chances throughout for SLU. Inconsistent/inaccurate final touch often to keep the game within striking distance. Sometimes to selfish, sometimes too unselfish. 

2nd half, another forced turnover from Friedrich to Gaebe, who gets pulled down for the PK. (Heckel):

 

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SLU 2 St. Joe’s 0.

2nd straight game with an early goal for SLU. Another strong defensive game from Miller and Kohl, after Sunday, stepping up and through the central midfield, winning balls, forcing turnovers. 

Halverson made a great run on the first goal, and Gaebe created pressure on the defense, had a rocket off of the post, a keeper kick save on another, and a nice horizontal pass to set up SLU’s 2nd goal. 

First goal is a Halverson right flank run, give and go with Kelly. She cuts inside, pass to Miller for the finish:

 SLU’s 2nd goal. Gaebe with horizontal pass to Sawyer, who lays it off for the left foot finish from Miller again. 

13 first half shots and 7 first half corners for SLU. 

SLU lined up:

Puricelli,

Halverson, Stram, Heckel, Houck

Miller, Kohl

Friedrich, Preusser, Kelly

Gaebe

 

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Respectable showing for SLU alum Maddie Pokorny and her HB Koge team in a 2-0 UEFA Women’s Champions League loss to defending champions FC Barcelona. 

HB Koge created several first half chances and they were buzzing at times with Pokorny in the mix. FC Barcelona added two in the 2nd half. Here Maddie gets a good chance, and her teammate gets her follow saved:

Another good chance for HB Koge and kick save:

Maddie started at right wing and she played 89 minutes. They will play Arsenal and Tobin Heath next. 

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SLU 2 George Mason 0

4th straight win, and 3rd straight game scoring early for SLU. 

Emily Gaebe put SLU up 1-0 in the 21st minute. Hannah Friedrich (she has had some strong games lately, and has been especially effective two ways in the middle) starts the play by pinching the middle, forcing a turnover to Gaebe, who splits the defense, and finishes low far post:

SLU had 12 shots and 5 corners in the first half. 

Katie Houck had another strong game at outside back breaking up plays, providing distribution and joining the attack. She has switched back and forth between right and left side, played the right side Sunday. Just a nice transfer pick up for SLU this season. She was rewarded with an assist on SLU’s 2nd goal by Caroline Kelly. 

Houck started the play that found Kelly wide, beating her defender along the end line and slipping the finish between the keeper’s legs. (George Mason keeper otherwise had a very strong game, and was very solid):

 

Emily Gaebe was dangerous throughout the game, frequently putting pressure on the defense. 

SLU 

Puricelli

Houck, Stram, Heckel, Halverson

Miller, Kohl

Kelly, Preusser, Friedrich

Gaebe

Continued increased Beach minutes (34) at outside back in recent games, coming back from injury. Lawler who had seen some decreased minutes with injury, played 24 minutes. 

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SLU 1 Richmond 0.

5 straight SLU wins, all by shutout. They will play Sunday at Rhode Island to secure the number 2 seed in the conference tourney. VCU won the regular season league title last night.

SLU continued its recently successful lineup of moving Kelly to a wing, and, at times, they moved Friedrich to a central attacking midfield position from the wing. (Kelly and Sawyer wide, Friedrich in the middle and Gaebe up top) SLU had one of its best full 45 minutes, energy attacking, 2nd halves of the season.

Emily Gaebe continued pressuring defenses and scoring goals in a variety of ways. Gaebe forced a turnover from a trio of the Richmond defense, beat her defender 1v1, left foot, far post:

Later, multiple Billikens had a nice combination play, from the back to Gaebe, with a no look back heel pass as a target to Miller who hammers one just over the goal. Gaebe also will several good, low, driving passes with pace to set up the offense. 

SLU was dangerous all game with set pieces and corners. Here, a Friedrich service, nice driving header far post from Stram was saved off of the line to Houck, who’s rebound bangs off of the post. Lots of similar plays to this for SLU:

Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week Bri Halverson continues to provide the needed pace and flexibility on defense, while also providing box to box offensive support.

27 shots, 16 corners for SLU.

Senior night for Brianna Hatfield. She almost had one cutting in from the right wing, just needed an extra dribble and a little more elevation for far post corner:

Puricelli

Houck, Stram, Heckel, Halverson

Miller, Kohl

Kelly, Preusser, Friedrich

Gaebe

 

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