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Women’s soccer begins conference play with 3 shutouts
Three St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference games meant three conference shutout wins for the Webster University women’s soccer team.
In its first conference games this season, Webster defeated Blackburn College, Spalding University (Ky.) and Westminster College (Mo.) by a combined score of 13-0.
The Gorloks’ overall record for the week was 3-1 with a 1-0 loss to Carroll University (Wis.).
Webster struck early and often in its first taste of SLIAC competition this year. Against Blackburn on Wednesday, Oct. 3 at St. Louis Soccer Park, the Gorloks scored four of their goals in the first half in a 5-0 win. Three of those goals were scored in a three-minute span.
In Webster’s largest margin of victory, 6-0 over Spalding on Friday, Oct. 5 at Soccer Park, the first goal was scored fewer than 90 seconds into the game.
The team started just as quickly in its 2-0 win at Westminster on Tuesday, Oct. 9. Ally Nikolaus, junior midfielder, scored her first of two first half goals in just the second minute.
Webster is looking for redemption this year after losing to Greenville College in the SLIAC semifinal game in 2011. The Gorloks’ goal is to be perfect in SLIAC this season.
“(The first three wins) are pretty important and we want to continue doing that because we want to be undefeated,” Nikolaus said.
Webster’s defense can be called nothing but dominant this season. They have accumulated eight shutouts, three SLIAC Defensive Player of the Week awards and have given up only nine goals. The Gorloks haven’t surrendered more than two goals in any game this season. One of those games was an overtime loss.
The past two SLIAC Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week awards have gone to Webster players — junior defender Kristen Muehlenfeld and sophomore defender Amy Schield.
“Our defense is a really strong part of our team, and (the awards) do say a lot as to how good we are,” Schield said. “I’ve been working really hard all summer and school year, and this was a goal of mine.”
The offensive output this past week has sparked a friendly competition for more points on the team. In terms of points, the top three offensive players this season are freshman forward Lauren Pratt with 21, Nikolaus with 18, and sophomore forward Kristin Montgomery with 17. In terms of goals, Pratt also has the team lead with nine goals. Montgomery and Nikolaus are tied with eight.
Montgomery led the team last year with 10 goals.
“I don’t even know what we are all at right now,” Montgomery said. “It’s nice to have that competition with someone to be that leading goal scorer.”
Even though it is a 3-0 start to conference play, Webster has started with some of its weaker SLIAC opponents. Westminster, Blackburn and Spalding were all below .500 in the SLIAC last season.
Coach Luigi Scire knows games against top-tier teams in the SLIAC are still to come.
“We want to control our own destiny,” Scire said. “We need to continue to fight these teams off one at a time so we won’t have to worry.”
Junior midfielder Katie Aubuchon tore her anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and meniscus in her left knee in the final 10 minutes of the game against Carroll on Sunday, Oct. 7 at Soccer Park.
Aubuchon said she will be unable to play for at least six months.
“Obviously, Katie is a really big part of our team and it sucks,” Nikolaus said.
Webster will take a short break after playing its last four games in eight days. Up next, the Gorloks travel to Eureka College(Ill.) on Saturday, Oct. 13.
Midfielder Katie Aubuchon out for remainder of season
Katie Aubuchon, junior midfielder on the Webster University women’s soccer team, sustained a perfect storm of an injury.
Some players tear tendons in their knees such as a medial collateral ligament (MCL), anterior collateral ligament (ACL) or meniscus — Aubuchon tore all three in her left knee.
On Sunday, Oct. 7 in a 1-0 loss to Carroll University at St. Louis Soccer Park, Aubuchon was running in the open field with 10 minutes left to play in the game.
“I wanted to cut really hard the other way,” Aubuchon said. “And as I was cutting, my knee gave out to one side of my body, and I could just hear it all popping and ripping.”
Aubuchon was an aggressive attacker and large physical presence on the field for Webster. As a captain, she led by example and had three goals and three assists this season.
“It’s an unfortunate situation for us,” said women’s soccer coach Luigi Scire. “Ultimately the team has got to put it behind them and we are deep enough that we can overcome that.
“We still have two other captains and the sophomores and freshmen are the keys to our success.”
Junior midfielder Ally Nikolaus, is one of the team’s other captains, and she believes the team will pick up right where Aubuchon went down.
“Injuries happen, but the girls have wanted opportunities to be a big part in the game and now we need them to step up and show up in the games,” Nikolaus said.
Aubuchon said she is passing her job to, among others, sophomore forward Lauren Scalise.
“She needs to be out there and I know she can do it,” Aubuchon said. “I have all the confidence in the world that she can do it.
“We wont be any less of a team with her out there.”
Webster has five games remaining on their schedule, and all of them are conference games. The Gorloks expect to be in the top 4 in the SLIAC standings and advance into the postseason in the SLIAC tournament.
“We will try to win for her this season,” Scire said.