Soccer team finishes second in conference

Nikki Llewellyn, freshman midfielder, prepares to pass the ball during the Nov. 6 game. Llewellyn was named MIAA Freshman of the Year.

Nikki Llewellyn, freshman midfielder, prepares to pass the ball during the Nov. 6 game. Llewellyn was named MIAA Freshman of the Year.

T.J. Gerlach

Closing its season, the women’s soccer team lost one and won one last weekend.

“I’m real proud of them,” said Trevor Wachsman, head women’s soccer coach.

The Lions traveled to Warrensburg Nov. 4, and lost 2-1 to the Central Missouri State University Jennies in overtime.

Nikki Llewellyn, freshman midfielder, scored the only Lions’ goal in the 33rd minute.

Angela Westphal led the Lions in shots with three and shots on goal with two.

Nov. 6, the Lions returned home to defeat Northwest Missouri State University 4-0.

Senior goalkeeper Alese Woolard was honored at the game for her contributions to the team.

“It’s always a sad thing,” Woolard said. “It’s a final end to your career.”

She said the team has been a great group of women.

“This has been a great team to end it with,” Woolard said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anybody else, anywhere else.”

Wachsman said Woolard is a tremendous leader both on and off the field.

As for the game, Llewellyn opened the Lions’ scoring in the 35th minute, with the assist going to Jentri White, freshman midfielder/forward. White scored the second goal of the game in the 52nd minute. Lauren Kurelac, sophomore forward, earned the assist.

Westphal scored next in the 83rd minute, with the assist going to Ashley Turner, sophomore defender.

Erin Gfeller, junior midfielder, scored the final goal in the 87th minute, with the assist going to Llewellyn.

Kaney Tyler, sophomore goalkeeper, earned nine saves against NWMSU and recorded her 10th shutout this season.

“It was a good season for us,” Wachsman said. “We had 10 shutouts. We only let up more than one goal three times all season.”

He said there were some games the Lions believed they could have done better, but they were still able to put themselves in a position to come out on the top of the conference, and had a show at the national championship until late in the year.

“We’re glad we put ourselves in that position,” Wachsman said. “We have a lot to look forward to; we have a young team, and they’re very hungry.”

“We’ve got a really young group here and they’re just very, very talented,” Woolard said. “And this team’s going to do great things.”

The Lions finished the year 11-5-4 overall and 7-3-4 in the MIAA. They finished in second in the conference behind Truman State University.

Eight Lions were named to the MIAA’s all-conference team, five of whom were listed on the first team. Those five were Tyler, Llewellyn, Gfeller, Jessica Buhman, junior defender/midfielder, and Christina Kleekamp, freshman defender/midfielder.

Turner, Kelsey Thomas, freshman defender, and Amy Davis, sophomore midfielder, earned honorable mentions.

Tyler was also named MIAA Most Valuable Player, and Llewellyn was named as the MIAA’s Freshman of the Year.