Jump to content

Midtown Madness: Episode 9 featuring an Interview with Women's Soccer Coach Katie Shields


Recommended Posts

8 hours ago, Midtown Madness said:

I wanted to add the Youtube option for anyone who wants to watch our interview with Coach Shields. I think my reaction after the interview speaks for itself but man, Katie Shields just has IT. The interview runs about 38 minutes at the beginning and really is worth watching.

Great job guys. Have you guys thought about putting the word out before the podcast and maybe take a few questions from the message board. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great job with the interview.  She is one very impressive coach and person.  If possible, I would love to see SLU come up with a bucket on $$$ to keep her and turn her into the "Mark Few" of Women's College Soccer. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

To follow up on Bauman's points, is SLU considered a permanent landing spot for top coach, or to put it another way, are we a destination program?  If not, what are the drawbacks that prevent us from being a permanent position for a top coach wanting to build a top program?

Link to post
Share on other sites

my opinion and no one from SLU has ever said this but it would seem to me as a private university, our budget is limited by the revenue our basketball program brings in.   the little to no revenue sports, which i assume women's soccer is one of, would be limited by our overall resources of funds.   to just assume we will pay a coach at the non revenue sports big top national money seems doubtful.  yes it is pretty obvious she is a treasure and it would be tough for the program to lose her, but in the same sense there has to be some fiscal sense to the way the athletic department rationalizes salaries, infrastructure etc.   i am pretty sure Chris May is very proud of most of his hires since taking over SLU athletics, but with that, there comes difficult decisions and at some point assuming Katie continues to excel, there is likely to be a tough decision by us having to match some overfunded public school flush with ncaa money and big booster money that will be hard to compete with.   hope i am wrong and she is here till she retires, but betting the day is coming.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Roy, you make some valid points re the fiscal aspect of retaining Shields.  However, there is one other important point-the value in name recognition (our SLU brand) that having a top level national women's soccer program brings to the school.  This is discussed once in a while when we get into the value of having a top men's basketball program-having our name out in front of high school students as they consider colleges.  It's a tough thing to quantify, but it has value.  How many HS students thought, or even knew, about Gonzaga before it became a household name due to MBB?

Women's BB and Soccer are the two sports programs that can receive publicity along with the same two sports for men so if I had a decision to make about adding an extra $100 - $200 K to a coach of a top women's team in either of those sports or retaining a Field Hockey or Swimming/Diving program I would have a very easy decision to make.  Look at the tremendous increase in attention for SLU right now due to the Women's Soccer team and imagine what it would be like if we could become a consistent, top 10, nationally recognized program.

If any readers have yet to listen to the interview of Katie S in the Midtown Madness podcast, you really need to do it to get an appreciation of this HC.

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, slufanskip said:

Great job guys. Have you guys thought about putting the word out before the podcast and maybe take a few questions from the message board. 

We've talked about it. Sometimes these things come together very quickly, and we're just starting to get some other interview guests lined up. @billikenfan05might have more to say about this question.

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Pistol said:

We've talked about it. Sometimes these things come together very quickly, and we're just starting to get some other interview guests lined up. @billikenfan05might have more to say about this question.

Yeah I briefly flirted with the idea @slufanskip. The little stitious side of me has been hesitant in the past. We're dropping a (i think 2 hour interview) here shortly and I was scared it was going to fall through if I celebrated early by asking for questions. I think we can give it ago with our next big guest.

 

@billiken_roy@bauman From the handful of interactions I've had with Katie and talks with people around the program about her, SLU seems to be right in her wheelhouse as far as institutional and athletic priorities. I think that there is something to be said for the allure of bigger versions of SLU out there. I think something SLU has been fairly successful in the past is giving "non-revenue" sport coaches significant upgrades to facilities and improved conditions to offset the inability to pay larger salaries. I think we should stay tuned on that front.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, billikenfan05 said:

Yeah I briefly flirted with the idea @slufanskip. The little stitious side of me has been hesitant in the past. We're dropping a (i think 2 hour interview) here shortly and I was scared it was going to fall through if I celebrated early by asking for questions. I think we can give it ago with our next big guest.

 

@billiken_roy@bauman From the handful of interactions I've had with Katie and talks with people around the program about her, SLU seems to be right in her wheelhouse as far as institutional and athletic priorities. I think that there is something to be said for the allure of bigger versions of SLU out there. I think something SLU has been fairly successful in the past is giving "non-revenue" sport coaches significant upgrades to facilities and improved conditions to offset the inability to pay larger salaries. I think we should stay tuned on that front.

1) Good job w/your interview.

2) I do have a few specific additional program questions that could be asked next time.

3) SLU has to be competitive with compensation with Katie in order to try to keep her longer term. That's how it works. I am pretty familiar with some of the specific different Women's Soccer Coaching compensations. SLU isn't likely to be competitive with the top tier. But SLU can be and needs to be competitive with some of the other top 25 ish type programs. Structure is often base salary, plus team and individual bonus incentives, plus individual perks. These things don't often include outside perks, camps, other deals. If all else fails ask Jim Kavanaugh to write a check. The base pay is important, as are the numbers for the incentives. 

4) I know the Leahy (Brian etc for their dad Dan) family upgraded the locker rooms at Hermann.  I would like to see some upgrades and improvements to current facilities, as well as see some new things for the soccer programs. Several of the better programs out there have done this and are in the process of doing this.

5) It will be interesting to see who Mizzou hires. Shields won't be in play there. I would have to think they make a run at Todd Shulenberger at Washington St. (Has had success recruiting the West Coach) He was a former Mizzou assistant on some of their more successful league title and NCAA teams, he has had success at Wazzou, He spent 12 years in Atlanta, a big recruiting ground for some of the SEC. He was also successful at Texas Tech and recruiting there. Mizzou AD Jim Sterk spent 10 years at Wazzou. (No overlap) There are some other interesting names to watch too.

6) Shields has had experience where she has been an assistant, and, the Head Coach either abruptly left (UC Irvine) (Harvard) or was fired (Northwestern). So she has experience with a few coaching situations. Once SLU can win some NCAA games more consistently in addition to league domination, I think she will eventually have a decision to make if the league situation doesn't improve on and off of the field in some various areas. Darren Ambrose spent 15 years at Penn before Vandy. Mike Moynihan did the same at Milwaukee before Northwestern. They both wanted a new challenge to win and recruit at a higher level. They said there was a limit where they were.

Shields is deliberate and thoughtful. And it's possible to have success at SLU, maintain it, and increase to higher levels, it if she can get the support she needs from SLU and the league. Some of that is up to SLU. There are perhaps a half a dozen programs that would be of possible interest to her in the future. If she ever left for a middle of the pack random Power 5 School that wasn't a specific fit, you would have your answer about SLU's (lack of) effort to keep her, along with league issues. There have been some other long term successful coaches that have stayed where they are because they were happy. (Memphis, Santa Clara etc..) Katie's background is all over the country, Southern California, Northeast, Midwest etc...which I believe is an asset not only for herself, but also for SLU.

7) Shields' success thus far cannot be overstated. It's a big deal to come into Metro St. Louis from somewhere else and successfully navigate the local soccer scene from elsewhere. Not an easy task. She has done an excellent job building a program, culture, player development, recruiting, she's organized, understands x's and o's, she can game prep and make in game adjustments, all with an approachable, positive, cerebral even keel. Keeping an entire roster engaged and interested.

Next steps. Expanding recruiting. (I liked the Bry McCarthy hire) Shields and Chris Allen have done a great job with St. Louis, all over the Metro Area and Metro East, Columbia, Springfield, Kansas City, making inroads. (She is not going to get every top local player for reasons people already know, want to go away to school, bigger schools and leagues, different geography, $ etc.. but she is getting many) Getting high level, athletic on ball skill players with speed and physicality, and developing them. That takes effort and time. Expanding recruiting regionally, Nationally and  Internationally options will only compliment the inside out approach. She has also done well landing Power 5 transfers seeking a different fit. Expanding diversity of players on addition to geography. SLU's lack of team racial diversity stands out because many of the country's better teams are much more diverse with Black, Hispanic, Asian players etc... I expect to see some of these things to be some of the next additional steps taken with the program. Katie is very aware of the landscape. 

9) It's an exciting positive time for SLU Women's soccer. They  get a chance to play (possibly) a similar level team (in a Power 5 league) in a Round of 32 NCAA game, for a chance to (possibly) play one of the country's best few teams and winningest program all time in the Round of 16. That's pretty good.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/26/2021 at 6:10 PM, billikenfan05 said:

Thank you Box. At least I’m assuming your wow is positive. 😂

Oh, yes.  You guys did a phenomenal job.  Coach Shields is super impressive.  When it comes to recruiting local players, I'm guessing that even the kids who are dead set on going to school away from home and/or to someplace bigger would reconsider after hearing her sales pitch. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/28/2021 at 9:06 AM, Box and Won said:

Oh, yes.  You guys did a phenomenal job.  Coach Shields is super impressive.  When it comes to recruiting local players, I'm guessing that even the kids who are dead set on going to school away from home and/or to someplace bigger would reconsider after hearing her sales pitch. 

Yes and no. What has changed, is that now there are some players that are considering SLU, that would not have considered SLU a few to several years ago. (Relationship building and winning have been the biggest difference) Shields and Chris Allen have been a big part of this. Bry McCarthy is helping with other areas as well. 

After that, it gets more complex. Let’s take a deep dive.

Some years have better local recruits than others with regard to both high end, and depth. Some years, the better local recruits come from different programs than other years. Some years it’s a mix. SLU was able to get many of/more of their target recruits, in recent years, in the current Freshman and Sophomore classes. And, another aspect of recruiting includes sometimes recruiting the best or better players, and then moving them around and changing their position in college to fit the player, the team, etc...Heckel and Stram for example start on the back line as Freshmen, But they were better known as successful offensive players prior to SLU. Hannah Friedrich, over the years, has moved around from up top, out wide, and inside depending on the need. She was one of the nation’s leaders in assists this year, after being a prolific goal scorer other years. 

Versatility has been a key to SLU’s recruiting. SLU likes players who are and have been successful in other sports too. SLU could have a pretty good pick up hoops game with some.

Transfers. Emily Groark, (Colorado) Anna Lawler, (Oklahoma St.) Hadley Cytron, (Tennessee) all were elite local area recruits that chose Power 5 schools, but later transferred to SLU. Being able to be in position as a possible landing spot in these situations has helped too.

Local recruiting includes all of Metro St. Louis, the Metro East, all of Missouri, and Metro KC. SLU has four players from the Metro East. They have one from Springfield, MO, They have one from Columbia, two from KC.  They have 13 others from all over the St. Louis area. Then you add other regional and national recruits.

That doesn’t mean every local player has or will consider SLU. Some do and some don’t. And that’s okay. But more are considering SLU than before. SLU just needs to be competitive annually with recruiting to be an annual top 25 or better program. The players can come from anywhere. But it makes sense to build a strong foundation locally first. Ralph Richards runs the ECNL program at SLSG. Many current SLU players came through that program. Caleb McKee (SLU Men’s Soccer alum) is coaching a Lou Fusz team that is going for its 2nd straight USYS National Title this summer. Two SLU commits are on the team. Emily Gaebe is from Union, and recently transferred to the team. And Madelyn Smith is from Florissant but goes to Alton Marquette. 

Some players overplay their recruiting level. Some under perform, some perform at or around their expected level. It’s more about who can play and develop at the highest levels, be a good fit, and, consider/commit to SLU.

There are plenty of players that go elsewhere for a variety of reasons. Some want to go away for the experience and change. Some seek a different type of school than SLU. Some seek a better soccer league. SLU seeks a good fit for both sides based on the type of play development, culture, etc...There is definitely a specific culture with SLU’s program.

Some really good players go elsewhere and succeed. Kirsten Davis and Channing Foster have had great careers at Texas Tech and Ole Miss, and, were recent NWSL draft picks.

There are some pretty good players with local ties throughout the NCAA Tourney and elsewhere, playing Power 5, Big East, OVC, all kinds of leagues.

Ava Tankersley has had a really good Freshman season at top 10 Arkansas. Delaney Schultz at Rice, Gretchen Skoglund at Butler. Lily Farkas at Michigan. You can even find some players that play at perhaps a smaller level than SLU than are very successful and very much could play at SLU. There are misses in recruiting too.

Sydney Stephens (Georgia) was very highly recuited, and is an example of just how challenging the transition to big time college soccer can be at times. At many Power 5 schools, it is common for some highly recruited first year players to ease into the lineup over time. This is a bit of a shock, and, is different from being a prep star. Some stick it out, some make a change. And some such as Davis and Foster, are good from the beginning. 

A few of the very highest recruited local players for 2021 and 2022 classes are headed to Power 5 schools: Wisconsin (Ashley Martinez, Rylee Howard) North Carolina (Maci Teater), Mississippi St (Rylie Combs, Alivia Buxton), South Carolina (Kinley Brown), Oklahoma St (Grace Bindbeutel), Arkansas (Annessa Shively). Some of these had U.S. National program exposure. SLU would have liked to have had any of these for next year and the year after.

Many Power 5 schools recruit from National Events in the ECNL (Elite Club National League) the past decade or so. (SLU has some of these players) This is where some of the above mentioned local players headed to Power 5 schools play with their club teams. This is also where SLU is more likely to recruit more of its National players from these events. i.e. Taylor Krueger from Portland Jesuit plays in it. But, good players come from anywhere and everywhere. Some of SLU’s good players are proof of that too. 

A few other good ones are headed to Xavier, Marquette, Rutgers, Vandy, Clemson. Even SIUE and Missouri St. are doing a nice job with recruiting local players and are having success. 

SLU has a very young, very good team, most of which will return next season. They will also add a few players that had to sit out this season. And, they have a few good recruits for next year mentioned above (Gaebe, Smith) along with a keeper from KC, Lily-Anne Ellis. And, SLU already has a couple of really good ones in the 2022 class, one from St. Louis, (Ellie Paloucek), one from Portland (Taylor Krueger), (Hannah Smith) as well from Stl.

There are also some other local younger prep players getting U.S. National program exposure at the younger high school age range levels 15’s and 16’s. (Autumn Jackson, Zoe Cuneio etc...)  

As Shields would say, the local area is very good for recruiting relative to its Metro area size. It isn’t SoCal, Metro NYC tristate, DC/MD/VA, Texas, Atl, etc...the goal is to be competitive landing a few to some of the biggest talents, knowing many will go elsewhere, while also stockpiling very good players that develop well. SLU has been able to consistently year in and year out recruit good players, who can develop well in SLU’s system. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, courtside said:

Yes and no. What has changed, is that now there are some players that are considering SLU, that would not have considered SLU a few to several years ago. (Relationship building and winning have been the biggest difference) Shields and Chris Allen have been a big part of this. Bry McCarthy is helping with other areas as well. 

After that, it gets more complex. Let’s take a deep dive.

Some years have better local recruits than others with regard to both high end, and depth. Some years, the better local recruits come from different programs than other years. Some years it’s a mix. SLU was able to get many of/more of their target recruits, in recent years, in the current Freshman and Sophomore classes. And, another aspect of recruiting includes sometimes recruiting the best or better players, and then moving them around and changing their position in college to fit the player, the team, etc...Heckel and Stram for example start on the back line as Freshmen, But they were better known as successful offensive players prior to SLU. Hannah Friedrich, over the years, has moved around from up top, out wide, and inside depending on the need. She was one of the nation’s leaders in assists this year, after being a prolific goal scorer other years. 

Versatility has been a key to SLU’s recruiting. SLU likes players who are and have been successful in other sports too. SLU could have a pretty good pick up hoops game with some.

Transfers. Emily Groark, (Colorado) Anna Lawler, (Oklahoma St.) Hadley Cytron, (Tennessee) all were elite local area recruits that chose Power 5 schools, but later transferred to SLU. Being able to be in position as a possible landing spot in these situations has helped too.

Local recruiting includes all of Metro St. Louis, the Metro East, all of Missouri, and Metro KC. SLU has four players from the Metro East. They have one from Springfield, MO, They have one from Columbia, two from KC.  They have 13 others from all over the St. Louis area. Then you add other regional and national recruits.

That doesn’t mean every local player has or will consider SLU. Some do and some don’t. And that’s okay. But more are considering SLU than before. SLU just needs to be competitive annually with recruiting to be an annual top 25 or better program. The players can come from anywhere. But it makes sense to build a strong foundation locally first. Ralph Richards runs the ECNL program at SLSG. Many current SLU players came through that program. Caleb McKee (SLU Men’s Soccer alum) is coaching a Lou Fusz team that is going for its 2nd straight USYS National Title this summer. Two SLU commits are on the team. Emily Gaebe is from Union, and recently transferred to the team. And Madelyn Smith is from Florissant but goes to Alton Marquette. 

Some players overplay their recruiting level. Some under perform, some perform at or around their expected level. It’s more about who can play and develop at the highest levels, be a good fit, and, consider/commit to SLU.

There are plenty of players that go elsewhere for a variety of reasons. Some want to go away for the experience and change. Some seek a different type of school than SLU. Some seek a better soccer league. SLU seeks a good fit for both sides based on the type of play development, culture, etc...There is definitely a specific culture with SLU’s program.

Some really good players go elsewhere and succeed. Kirsten Davis and Channing Foster have had great careers at Texas Tech and Ole Miss, and, were recent NWSL draft picks.

There are some pretty good players with local ties throughout the NCAA Tourney and elsewhere, playing Power 5, Big East, OVC, all kinds of leagues.

Ava Tankersley has had a really good Freshman season at top 10 Arkansas. Delaney Schultz at Rice, Gretchen Skoglund at Butler. Lily Farkas at Michigan. You can even find some players that play at perhaps a smaller level than SLU than are very successful and very much could play at SLU. There are misses in recruiting too.

Sydney Stephens (Georgia) was very highly recuited, and is an example of just how challenging the transition to big time college soccer can be at times. At many Power 5 schools, it is common for some highly recruited first year players to ease into the lineup over time. This is a bit of a shock, and, is different from being a prep star. Some stick it out, some make a change. And some such as Davis and Foster, are good from the beginning. 

A few of the very highest recruited local players for 2021 and 2022 classes are headed to Power 5 schools: Wisconsin (Ashley Martinez, Rylee Howard) North Carolina (Maci Teater), Mississippi St (Rylie Combs, Alivia Buxton), South Carolina (Kinley Brown), Oklahoma St (Grace Bindbeutel), Arkansas (Annessa Shively). Some of these had U.S. National program exposure. SLU would have liked to have had any of these for next year and the year after.

Many Power 5 schools recruit from National Events in the ECNL (Elite Club National League) the past decade or so. (SLU has some of these players) This is where some of the above mentioned local players headed to Power 5 schools play with their club teams. This is also where SLU is more likely to recruit more of its National players from these events. i.e. Taylor Krueger from Portland Jesuit plays in it. But, good players come from anywhere and everywhere. Some of SLU’s good players are proof of that too. 

A few other good ones are headed to Xavier, Marquette, Rutgers, Vandy, Clemson. Even SIUE and Missouri St. are doing a nice job with recruiting local players and are having success. 

SLU has a very young, very good team, most of which will return next season. They will also add a few players that had to sit out this season. And, they have a few good recruits for next year mentioned above (Gaebe, Smith) along with a keeper from KC, Lily-Anne Ellis. And, SLU already has a couple of really good ones in the 2022 class, one from St. Louis, (Ellie Paloucek), one from Portland (Taylor Krueger).

There are also some other local younger prep players getting U.S. National program exposure at the younger high school age range levels 15’s and 16’s. (Autumn Jackson, Zoe Cuneio etc...)  

As Shields would say, the local area is very good for recruiting relative to its Metro area size. It isn’t SoCal, Metro NYC tristate, DC/MD/VA, Texas, Atl, etc...the goal is to be competitive landing a few to some of the biggest talents, knowing many will go elsewhere, while also stockpiling very good players that develop well. SLU has been able to consistently year in and year out recruit good players, who can develop well in SLU’s system. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Very informative analysis of the SLU women’s situation.  When convenient it would be great if you put something like this together for the Men’s side as well!  Obrigado!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...