Ashley Zeier, Laura Peiter and Jeanne Gilbert react to being inducted into the Webster University…
Former star athlete Ashley Zeier set to enter Webster Hall of Fame
It was only appropriate for Webster University senior Amanda Zeier, a four-year member of the women’s soccer team, to have one of the best collegiate games of her career on senior night with her cousin-in-law, Ashley (Everett) Zeier, watching in the stands.
Amanda Zeier scored two goals that night — the 18th and 19th of her career — to help the Gorloks to an emphatic 5-0 home win over Westminster College on Oct. 25, 2011. It turned out to be the last goals Amanda Zeier would score for the Gorloks. It was also the last time she would play in front of her cousin-in-law and mentor.
With Amanda Zeier prepared to graduate from Webster this May with a degree in early childhood education, things have come full circle for her and Ashley Zeier, who will earn a major accomplishment of her own when she is inducted into the Webster Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 4.
“It’s been really cool to see (Amanda) play at Webster, and she wore my number all four years — No. 7,” Ashley Zeier said. “That meant a lot to me, that she was able to go there and do that. She’s been an awesome part of the program. She’s getting ready to graduate, so it’s been nice to see the legacy that we started live on through her. It makes it a lot closer to home, and just so much more real, being able to see how the program has changed over the last 10 years.”
Ashley Zeier builds Hall of Fame resume
Ashley Zeier was a captain on the inaugural Webster women’s soccer team in 1999 and led the Gorloks to a 15-4-1 record that season. It was the first of four spectacular years for Ashley Zeier, who compiled a 65-10-4 career record, including a 44-2-2 mark in conference play.
She is the only four-year captain in women’s soccer program history, and she led the Gorloks to three straight St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and NCAA tournament appearances, from 2000-2002. Ashley Zeier was selected to the All-Conference first team three times and the All-Scholar Central Region team twice. She received the Webster Athletics Presidential Award in 2002.
Ashley Zeier was nominated for the Hall of Fame by Luigi Scire, who started the women’s soccer program and has coached the team in each of its 13 years of existence. For Scire, the nomination was a no-brainer.
“When I look at the criteria, one of the things I look at is how a player from one era comes across in today’s game,” Scire said. “Certain players wash and wear very nicely in 1999 or 2011. Ashley is one of those players.
“It doesn’t matter if she was a part of the 1999 team or the 2011 team. She would be a leader, an anchor on defense, and she would carry us to success … She didn’t have 2,000 goals and 700 assists, but what makes that individual great? And it’s (that) she was an outstanding player, but a better person.”
Because she was a four-year sweeper, Ashley Zeier’s offensive numbers aren’t eye-popping. For her career, she tallied only one goal and nine assists for 11 points. But what she helped the Gorloks’ defense accomplish is jaw-dropping. In the 79 games that Ashley Zeier played, Webster allowed 48 goals total. During that same time span, the Gorloks shut out their opponents 49 times.
“Being a defender, you don’t always get a whole lot of recognition,” Ashley Zeier said. “Weeg (Luigi Scire) has always been great about recognizing us. I was somewhat surprised (to be inducted) because of the stats, but Weeg has always been someone who wears his feelings on his sleeve and he always lets you know how special you are to him.
“So, I wasn’t surprised 100 percent when (Director of Athletics) Tom (Hart) called me and told me (I made the Hall of Fame), just because I know Weeg is one of those guys that has your back and pulls for you. If he thinks that’s someplace I belong, I knew he wasn’t going to stop until he got his way.”
Zeier family gets psyched for induction day
Ashley Zeier will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during halftime of the men’s basketball game against Eureka College, which is set to tip off at 3 p.m. at Grant Gymnasium. Ashley Zeier will be enshrined along with two other former Webster athletes — softball and basketball player Laura (Stuhlman) Peiter and softball player Jeanne (Zes) Gilbert — who make up the Hall of Fame’s third class.
As proud as Ashley Zeier is of her Hall of Fame accomplishment, which she called “surreal,” she said her parents, Curt and LaVerne Everett, and her twin sister, Amanda Everett, are even prouder. Ashley Zeier said that’s because the trio only missed a handful of games — home or away — during Ashley Zeier’s Webster soccer career.
“Everybody in my family has been completely devoted to my career,” Ashley Zeier said. “My parents are those types; they’re die-hard fans. I think it means more to my parents because it’s almost an accomplishment for them. My sister was a really big supporter, so it was a big deal for her when she heard about this. They’re just all really, really proud of me. I think I find it more of an accomplishment because I can see how much it means to them. So that’s the biggest thing for me.”
Ashley Zeier, a St. Louis native who attended McCluer North High School before enrolling at Webster, said one of the highlights of her soccer career was playing SLIAC rival Principia College in several tight games. She added that “there’s nothing like playing in the NCAA tournament.” Ashley Zeier helped the Gorloks earn one of their two NCAA tournament victories — a 5-1 win over Edgewood College in 2001.
Ashley Zeier graduated from Webster in 2003 with a degree in psychology. She earned a master of business administration from Fontbonne University in 2007. For the past six and a half years, Ashley Zeier has worked at Perficient, an information technology consulting firm.
Ashley Zeier lives in Florissant with her husband, Eric Zeier. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Cooper, and an 18-month-old son, Nolan.
Ashley Zeier will be the second women’s soccer player to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. The first was Niki (Martinez) Tedoni, who was inducted in 2010 and played alongside Zeier from 2000-2002.
“When it comes to the Hall of Fame, you have Ashley and Niki,” Scire said. “As I told everybody, when it comes to the beginning of the program, there it is, there’s your heart and your soul — the two inductees right now. That’s how I look at those two. Everything from this point on will build on those two setting the tone and foundation for our success. Now I have the heart and soul in the Hall of Fame.”