A long throw-in sailed to the penalty kick line where junior Lindsey Adshade had two DePauw University (Ind.) defenders at her back. She pushed her weight backwards, taking both defenders with her, all while flicking the ball across the front of goal. Her efforts left a canyon for sophomore Jessica Mess to slide the ball into the back of the net for Mess’ second goal of the game.
Adshade played two seasons at Division-I Bowling Green State University (Ohio), but transferred this season to Webster University. She said she enjoys an occasional physical game to showcase her strength and the D-III level is throwing more her way than she expected.
A year and a half of uncertainty led Adshade to transfer from Bowling Green to Webster. Bowling Green was on its third head coach in a year and a half, and after the 2012 season, she thought of quitting the game all together.
Adshade said her two seasons at Bowling Green were frustrating. The Falcons won only four games the year before her arrival, six games her freshman year, then back to four in her sophomore season. Her time on the field was almost as rare as a victory. When she did play, she never earned her way to the stat sheet and was 0-5 in her D-1 career.
In D-III, she is already 5-0. Adshade said she wouldn’t take back her decision to accept a scholarship and play at the highest collegiate level, but she is positive she’s in the right place now.
“I guess you’re just young and when you look at all these colleges, you don’t really know what you want,” Adshade said. “But you’re set on one thing and you are just wrong.”
As a senior at DeKalb High School she had guaranteed offers from D-I schools like Bowling Green and Xavier University (Ohio) but she gave D-III colleges a chance. She first met Webster women’s head soccer coach Luigi Scire on a trip to St. Louis to play in the Scott Gallagher nationwide tournament with her club soccer team.
Adshade said her assumption was that D-III was a waste of time because colleges at that level can’t give athletic scholarships like other divisions.
She said tuition at Webster is close to the amount she paid to attend Bowling Green due to Webster’s academic scholarships.
After her troubles in the 2012 season at Bowling Green, Adshade decided to make a phone call to the D-III college coach that asked her to keep his team in mind.
“Now thinking about it, I really thank God that she remembered us,” Scire said. “I think between the two institutions, we are going to benefit more as long as we do the right things for her in the next two years here.”
Adshade said contacting Scire was the only phone call she had to make. By January 2013, she had new classes, a new team and a new roommate.
She had seven months to get acclimated to the change in scenery. Scire tried to make it as easy as possible by rooming her with a teammate, sophomore Jenna Hopkins.
Hopkins said being asked to room with the transfer from D-I made her nervous about her first college roommate.
“I was also thinking it would be an awesome opportunity for me just to be rooming with someone who had played D-I,” Hopkins said. “I didn’t know how driven she was by playing soccer.”
The two still live together, but now reside in a house in Affton with fellow teammates, seniors Kristen Muehlenfeld and Michelle Scally.
Scire said for Adshade to earn her spot on the team, she would have to prove her worth to her teammates. He said she consistently looked like one of the hardest workers in spring training.
“We were fortunate that Lindsey came during the non-traditional spring season,” Scire said. “She so far has exceeded my expectations and I think her teammates will say the same.”
Hopkins believes Adshade earned her keep quickly because of the performance she put on during every mandatory team session she attended and always tried to be included in “kick-arounds” and team runs.
Scire has the Gorloks playing man-to-man defense that whenever the opposing team is in possession of the ball each Webster field player has an opposing player, or mark, that she is required to cover no matter where they are on the field. Adshade said she has played a zone-marking system all her life where on defense she covers a designated area on the field rather than a specific player.
“It is a huge adjustment for me,” Adshade said. “But Luigi has been a huge help and is really understanding through the whole process. I’m so happy he has been there for me.”
Through her first six games, her mark hasn’t recorded a goal or an assist and Webster has only given up one goal so far.
This change goes along with playing as an outside midfielder, a position she is playing for her first time at the collegiate level. All through high school at DeKalb, she played on multiple teams throughout the year. On her high school team, she filled the outside midfield position, but as a member of her Eclipse club team she was a center defender.
Adshade said it was difficult to. The center back spot is often reserved for a team’s top defensive player who can use their height to deflect away crosses and have the footwork to stay with opposing center forwards. While a wing midfielder has responsibilities on both ends of the field. The winger always gets back to mark a post or player while defending against a corner and has to be available out wide to start a fast break on the offense.
She is back as an outside midfielder at Webster after two seasons as a center back at Bowling Green.
The Gorlok midfield has swept up D-I talent for over a decade. Adshade and senior Ally Nikolaus, who transfered from University of Mississippi for Webster’s 2011 season, are the first D-I transfer duo to play for Webster since sisters Niki (2000-02) and Angela Martinez (2001-02).
Scire, who has coached Webster women’s soccer since its beginning in 1991, said Adshade is the sixth D-I transfer in his team’s history.
“They are players that don’t want anything given to them,” Sicre said. “They want to earn everything at Webster and the credibility they bring from those other programs only get you so far.”
Niki and Angela Martinez are third and 20th, respectively, on Webster’s all-time points list. Nikolaus is 17th.
Adshade and Nikolaus said at the beginning of the season they talked about the transition to another school and dropping to a different level of play. But Nikolaus showed up on Webster’s campus just weeks before the start of her first season as a Gorlok.
Nikolaus said the last minute decision to play at Webster two weeks before the season started ultimately made her better. It forced her to step up and thrive under pressure and heavy expectations.
Adshade and Nikolaus both said the opportunity to play at Webster came after periods of not wanting to continue playing a game that helped pay for their college education.
Scire said the handful of top-class players he has brought to Webster have all just happened over the years and he hasn’t found a consistent reason why.
“It is nothing special that I’m doing. Lindsey and Ally are two different pieces,” Scire said. “Lindsey was recruited early on, but I can’t take credit for Ally. That just fell out of the heavens.”
In her second season at Webster, Nikolaus became a captain as a junior. She said Adshade has the chance to wear the captain’s armband next season. Hopkins said she would give Adshade a vote to be captain.
“I have high expectations for her as a friend and a teammate,” Hopkins said. “Both those girls set great examples and I think it’s something that everyone should take into account.”
Adshade said the chance to lead next year’s team on the field was something she hasn’t yet thought about.
“That would be awesome,” Adshade said. “I would be so honored to be a captain here.”