2013 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament Preview

2013 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament Preview

The 19th annual St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Soccer Tournament is set to begin later this week with a field of Webster University, Greenville College, Principia College and Fontbonne University, marking the fifth consecutive year the same teams will participate in the tournament.

The Tournament
The 2013 Tournament is set to begin on Thursday, November 7 with the semifinals and conclude with the Championship game on Saturday, November 9. The first semifinal game will pit #1 seed Webster against #4 seed Fontbonne at 6 p.m. at AB Soccer Park in St. Louis, Mo. The other semifinal contest will be between #2 seed Greenville and #3 seed Principia at 7 p.m. in Greenville, Illinois. The Championship game will be held at the highest remaining seeds host site at 12 p.m.

You can listen to broadcasts of the 2013 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament through SLIAC partner Collegecasts HERE

Tournament Tidbits

  • Principia, Webster and Fontbonne have combined to win 16 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament Championships (Principia 9 times, Webster 5 times, Fontbonne once)
  • Webster was a perfect 3-0 against teams in this year's tournament and is 9-4-3 all-time in the SLIAC Tournament.
  • Greenville was 0-1-2 against this year's tournament teams and is 3-10 all-time in the SLIAC Tournament.
  • Principia was 1-1-1 against the this year's tournament field and is 24-6-3 all-time in the SLIAC Tournament.
  • Fontbonne was 0-2-1 against the tournament field and is 5-10-1 all-time in the SLIAC Tournament.
  • Webster defeated Greenville in the 2012 Championship game 1-0.
  • Greenville has made three consecutive Championship games. 
  • Fontbonne will be looking for their first tournament win since the 1997 season.
  • Just once has a seed lower than #2 won the Tournament; last year #3 Webster took home the trophy.

#1 Webster University Gorloks
Webster University finished the regular season with a 17-2 overall record and was the only unbeaten team in conference play with a perfect 6-0 record. This is the sixth time in program history they have put together a perfect conference record. The Gorloks closed out the regular season by winning their final nine games including a 13-0 win over Iowa Wesleyan College in their regular season finale.

Webster enters the tournament as the top scoring team in the conference, at 4.4 goals per game, and the top defense, allowing just 11 goals all season. Webster features a balanced attack with eight players recording at least five goals and 18 total players tallying at least one goal. Leading the way for the Gorlok attack is senior Ally Nikolaus with 10 goals and four assists. Junior Kristin Montgomery leads the team with 27 points on eight goals and 11 assists while sophomore Lauren Pratt leads the conference in assists with 12. With a strong defensive core that allowed just 11 goals this season, including nine shutouts, the Gorloks keepers have not seen much action. However Jessica Davis has been up to the challenge and holds a 0.55 goals-against average, with 34 saves in over 1300 minutes of action with a save percentage of 81-percent.

#2 Greenville College Panthers
Despite ranking in the middle of the league in both scoring and defense this season Greenville was able to advance to the SLIAC Tournament for the 11th time in program history. The Panthers, with a 7-9-2 overall record and 6-1-2 mark in the SLIAC, started slowly but were a different team at the end of the year closing the season by finishing 5-0-2. The Panthers found their stride late and have not lost since October 9 at DePauw. In their final seven games Greenville outscored their opponents 27-3. The Panthers will not have to look too far back to recall games against two of the tournament teams. Their last two regular season games were against Fontbonne and Principia, with both ending in a 1-1 tie.

Senior Kelsey Panzau is the go to player for Greenville, with nine goals and nine assists for 27 total points. She has an accurate foot putting 19 of 31 shots this season on net and adding two game winning goals for the Panthers. Senior Haley Thatcher has added six goals with two game winning goals. In net the Panthers' Heidi Hoehl has stopped 85 shots for a 75-percent save percentage in over 1600 minutes of action.

#3 Principia College Panthers
Principia finished the regular season with an 8-7-2 overall record and a 6-2-1 conference record as they claimed a berth into the tournament for a conference best 18th time. Principia will be looking for retribution against Greenville after being knocked out in the semifinals of last year's tournament, ending the Panthers hopes at winning a third consecutive tournament championship. Principia has not lost since October 15 against Webster and closed the season with a 4-0-1 record including a 1-1 tie against Greenville in their regular season finale.

Principia, which ranked third in the conference in scoring with 44 goals this season, will be led by Hayley MacWilliams who ranked third in the conference with 12 goals while adding three assists. Hayley Cooke and Carlie Sanderude have provided support with six goals and four assists while Kenzie Keller was second on the team with seven goals. Murilla King has played over 1400 minutes in net for Principia, holding a 1.47 goals-against average with 58 saves and a 72-percent save percentage.

#4 Fontbonne University Griffins
Fontbonne wrapped up the regular season with a 10-5-4 overall record and a 6-2-1 record in conference play. The Griffins ended the regular season by going 2-0-1 in their final three games including a 5-0 win over Blackburn in their regular season finale. Fontbonne finished tied for the second best goal differential at +19 due in large part to the second best defense in the league, allowing just 18 goals this season.

Junior Kayla Thorpe led the team with nine goals and five assists for 23 points. Freshman Savannah Davis added five goals and four assists while Paige Pfankuch and Kelly Lange each chipped in with four goals. In net Meggin Werner has been solid all year with an 80-percent save percentage, stopping 69 shots in just under 1600 minutes of action.