A Bright Future for the Women’s Soccer Team
The Webster University women’s soccer team’s season ended prematurely last week. The Gorloks lost 2-1 in a SLIAC tournament semifinal to Greenville College on Nov. 3. Webster ended the season with a 12-6-1 record.
The Gorloks had a 1-0 lead in the second half, but two unanswered Greenville goals gave the Panthers the win. It was only the second time in 20 matches that Greenville beat the Gorloks.
The loss cut Webster’s season shorter than the team would have liked. But it was still a great season concerning some of the circumstances.
At the end of the 2010 season, the Gorloks had two of their top goal scorers in school history graduate. Christy Capkovic is the program’s top all-time scorer, and Megan Niederschulte is second in career points.
For losing two of the best players in school history, the Gorloks did an adequate job of filling in the void this season. Now that this season is over, the question is how the Gorloks will move forward for next year.
Webster is losing seven players from this year’s team to graduation. Three Gorloks were named to the All-Conference first team. Two of those players are defender Izzy Sherfy and midfielder Morgan Milfeld and both are big losses for the team.
But this year’s success gives reason for optimism for next year. That is because along with Sherfy and Milfeld, there were two sophomores and four freshmen also given All-Conference honors.
Sophomore midfielder Ally Nikolaus was named to the All-Conference first team, as she ended the season with 16 points, which was second best for the Gorloks. She also had three game-winning goals.
Sophomore Katie Aubuchon, who plays alongside Nikolaus at the center-midfield position, was the only Gorlok to make the All-Conference second team. She was sixth on the team with nine points.
Freshman goalkeeper Jessica Davis was the SLIAC Newcomer of the Year. Davis had a record of 2-2-1 with two shutouts, and she stopped 93 percent of shots on goal. Davis was named an All-Conference honorable mention.
Joining Davis as honorable mentions were freshmen Kristin Montgomery, Amy Schield and Whitney Scott. Montgomery led the Gorloks in points with 21 and had two game-winning goals. Schield had a strong season defensively, and Scott tallied three assists.
All of these players made a great impact on the team in different ways. But the most important thing for the Gorloks is that these young players got the chance to earn a great deal of experience.
This means that next year, there shouldn’t be too much of a transition because a core group will be returning with an extra year of experience under its belt.
However, one thing the Gorloks will have to address is leadership. Both captains — Sherfy and Milfeld — are graduating this year. Someone will need to step up and take an all-important leadership role to fill this hole.
The 2011 Gorloks were a very young team with 15 total freshmen and sophomores and only three juniors. The young players are going to have to grow up quickly. But the positive is that a lot of these freshmen and sophomores gained extra experience this year.
The Gorloks had another great season. It didn’t finish ideally, but it gave a number of young players the chance to learn through first-hand experience. This gives the women’s soccer program hope that success can continue in 2012 and beyond.