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2016 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament Preview

2016 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament Preview

At A Glance
The 2016 SLIAC Women's Soccer Tournament field is set and will include Fontbonne University, Spalding University, Webster University, and Westminster College. Three of the four programs have previously won a tournament championship while Spalding is making their second consecutive trip to the tournament in program history. Semifinal games will be held Wednesday while the championship game will be on Friday.

Tournament Schedule
Semifinals - Wednesday, November 2
Game 1 - #1 Webster vs. #4 Westminster (St. Louis, Mo.) 7 p.m.
Game 2 - #2 Fontbonne vs. #3 Spalding (St. Louis, Mo.) 7 p.m.

Championship - Friday, November 4
Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, at higher seed
Collegecasts Championship Game Broadcast link


Fontbonne recovered from a slow start to the season which saw them open up with a 1-3 record to close the final month with a 7-2 mark. They carry a two game winning streak into the tournament and finished the regular season as the league's top defense, allowing just 18 goals this season, with Tayler Pulvirenti leading the way in net and recording a conference best .787 save percentage. They saw a rise of 20 goals from last year to this year, thanks in large part to Meredith Wendt's team leading 14 goal this year. Jacey Pate, a freshman, has added 10 goals while Natalie Sipole has 10 assists.

Overall Record: 12-6-1
SLIAC Record: 8-1
Tourn. Titles: 1
Last: 1996

Coaches Corner with Brian Hoener

After missing out on the tournament last year for the first time in seven years, what did the team do and work on in the off-season to get back?
"We used last year as a motivation tool heading into this year. Last year, I thought we were good enough to make the conferene tournament but didn't play well in big games. This year's team was extremely motivated to learn from the lessons last year's team went through."

How did you keep your team focused on their goals this season after a slow start?
"We talked about the long term goals for our season and staying the course. We challenged ourselves with a difficult non-conference schedule and I think that helped prepare us for conference. Early in the season our record didn't look great but I knew we were heading in the right direction."


Spalding finished the regular season having lost just one game in the final month, going 7-1. They finished third in the conference in goals scored with 56 as senior Dee Dee Sliter led the SLIAC in scoring with 45 points including 20 goals. Freshman Kelsie Huffman was second on the team with six goals. The Golden Eagles have had to adjust their defense mid-season when they lost All-Conference defender Demi West but goalkeeper Kelsey Kaiser and her defenders have been up to the task, tying for the league lead with eight team shutouts.

Overall Record: 11-5-1
SLIAC Record: 7-2
Tourn. Appearances: 2
Tourn. Titles: 0
Last: n/a

Coaches Corner with Shiloh Rayburn

You are making your second straight appearance in the tournament, what did the team learn in its first trip last year?
"The team has learned how to deal with adversity a little better. Last year was new territory for our team and we are extremely excited to be back. We know the importance of being ready from the opening whistle."

Dee Dee Sliter has shown to be a top player on the field but what does she do off the field and besides stats that makes her so successful and vital to the offense and team as a whole?
"Dee Dee is one of the hardest workers I've ever had the joy of coaching. Her determination is unmatched and I firmly believe it's one of the major reasons she's been so successful. She's had major injuries she has come back from and without that drive, there is no way she would be the athlete she is. She's also a great teammate and without good team chemistry I don't think we would be in the position we are in."


Webster brings a four game winning streak into the tournament. The Gorloks led the SLIAC in goals this year with 66 and average 22.8 shots per game. The strength of the Gorloks is in their depth, as evidenced by the fact that five players have netted five or more goals this season. Senior Allison Ferguson leads the way with 12 goals while a pair of freshman in Janel Bond (9 goals) and Melissa Kasper (6 goals) have made immediate impacts on the field. The defense is stout once again with two-time conference Player of the Week winner Elena Bloma anchoring the back line. In net the Gorloks have had four players play significant minutes however Alisa Coralic has received the majority of the minutes down the stretch.

Overall Record: 11-7
SLIAC Record: 9-0
Tourn. Titles: 7
Last: 2014

Coaches Corner with Luigi Scire

Your team just finished their third perfect 9-0 SLIAC regular season in the last four year's, how tough is it to stay focused for every single game?
"We respect all of the teams in our conference and we prepare for each one knowing that every game is going to be tough. The teams in our conference our very well coached and the challenge is to stay focused for each game."

You not only led the conference in goals scored but were also second in fewest goals allowed. How do you get your team to not only work on the glory (scoring goals) but playing solid team defense?
"There is an emphasis placed on being an unselfish two-way player. The players understand success is achieved when you are not one dimensional."



Westminster will be looking to defend their SLIAC Tournament title after moving past Webster in the championship game last year on penalty kicks. The Blue Jays play a possession, defensive style game. However despite ranking 7th in the league shots per game (14.4) the Blue Jays were the most efficient team with a .222 shot on goal percentage. Paige Townsend led the way for Westminster with seven goals while Payton Beeler totaled six goals and six assists for a team best 18 points. The defense is led by junior Abby Rockers, the two-time defending SLIAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year.

Overall Record: 9-7
SLIAC Record: 6-3
Tourn. Titles: 1
Last: 2015

Coaches Corner with Jen Dyson

You have won six of your last seven games coming into the tournament, do you think your team is finally clicking on all cylinders as you try to defend last year's title?
"The success we have seen recently comes from discipline and work ethic to continue to improve to improve each day regardless of a game or training circumstance. The team stays focused on our overall goals and they are aware that everything will not be perfect, but we need to focus on the process of becoming better in all we do."

The Blue Jays are known for being defense minded first. How do you get your players to buy into the defense first mind set?
"In regards to our team philosophy, we stress doing everything better; 23 strong in all we do. It is incredibly challenging to do that day in and day out with so many injuries but regardless of people's playing status all 23 people have a huge impact on our success as a team. Defending is just one piece of that but it never works if everyone isn't engaged and on the same page."

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