Southern shows promise early in first two conference games


Kenneth Armant/The Chart

Sophomore Michaela Altvater dribbles out of the Lion’s defensive third during the game against Northeastern State on Sunday.

John Davidson, Staff Writer

Playing the Central Oklahoma team that ended their season in 2012 on Friday night and facing an undefeated Northeastern State squad on Sunday afternoon, the Missouri Southern soccer team was bound to be tested.

The last time the Lions faced Central Oklahoma they suffered a 4-1 loss in the MIAA tournament. The result would not be the same on Friday. In a game that was a defensive battle all the way, goalkeepers Abby Risner (senior) and Beth Hammons (junior) had a combined 13 saves. The game went into two overtimes before ending in a 0-0 draw.

“There were a lot of positives to take away from last Friday’s game,” said Head Coach Alese Woolard.  “It was a good motivation game since they were ranked #2 in our conference and made the National Tournament last year. We created some really good opportunities in the game that just didn’t find the back of the net, so we were very much in the game, and controlled much of the second half and overtime periods.”

On Sunday, the Lions defeated Northeastern State 2-0. After going into half at 0-0, senior midfielder Dana Wilhelm notched her second goal of the season off of a Karley Thomas (sophomore) assist, something that has become a regular in the box score. It was the fourth assist of the season for Thomas.

“Our team this year has good chemistry, and knowing how different teammates play helps us know where certain individuals will be so we are able to play them the ball for a chance to score,” said Thomas.

Later in the half sophomore defender Kimberly Hulse added a goal via free-kick. It was her first goal of the season.

The strong defensive effort by the Lions saw Wilhelm earn MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors.

“I think each week we are getting better,” said Wilhelm. “I think it’s a great way to end our third week of play together. I’m excited to see what we can do next.”

The Lions will hit the road this weekend for two matches. They will hope to repeat last season’s results against the same teams which saw them walk away with wins in both games.

Tonight the Lions will be playing Fort Hays State. In one match-up with Fort Hays last year the Lions triumphed 2-1 in a game that never saw them trail. Both goals scored by Southern, as well as the lone goal by Fort Hays, came from players who are no longer on the squads.

“I’m looking forward to showing the conference that we are a strong team this year, and that last weeked wasn’t a fluke

Sunday the Lions will head to Nebraska-Kearney for a showdown. Last season the Lions defeated Nebraska-Kearney by a score of 3-0.  The opposition only mustered six shots against the Lions in last season’s match, while the Lions shot the ball 16 times. The Lion’s goals in that match all came from graduated forward Megan Stueve, so they will be looking for an attack elsewhere.

Woolard hopes to see the team continue to work together.

“What is great to see about our team is how hard they work for each other and how they accept the responsibility of their role.  They know that it’s not just one person’s job to score the goals, or take [the entire] defensive burden,” said Woolard.

Through teamwork and good chemistry the Lions look to come out of the weekend over .500.