Women’s soccer takes second in the GLVC Championship

The 2023 season for the women’s soccer team was quite memorable. Entering the GLVC tournament for the fifth time in the past 10 years, the squad was able to battle the season’s adversity and finish runner up in the conference while taking out the number one seed in the process. 

With such a successful end to the season, coach Chris Koenig was very happy with how his team played throughout the course of the tournament, but he believes that it was the team’s toughness, with a slow start to the season, that prepared them for this moment. “I thought the group’s response to those first couple of games was really positive, and then we went on that run in conference where we continued to pick up points and put ourselves in a position to host the first round. That’s always a position you want to be in.”

Koenig was referring to how the Flyers started the season 1-3-1 in non-conference play. As soon as conference play started, the squad was able to overcome the early season struggles and play themselves into a 7-2-4 record in the GLVC, leading to a home playoff game in the first round.

Starting the tournament off with home-field advantage turned out to be a massive success as the match against Missouri-St. Louis was a defensive masterclass. The team shutout the Tritons 1-0, with sophomore forward Breanna Culver scoring the lone goal in the game. 

Fueled by momentum, the team competed in the GLVC semifinals against number one seeded Maryville. he squad was able to prevail with a narrow 0-0 score to end regulation, and in the end, come through with 3-0 win in penalty kicks to advance to the championship. 

While the Flyers would come up short 1-0 in the final match against number two seeded McKendree, senior goalkeeper Bekah Nielsen, senior defense Grace DeVaux and senior defense Anna Stearns all earned all-tournament honors. The seniors earned these award recognitions for their efforts in only giving up one goal throughout the duration of the tournament.

When asked what the team can carry on from this experience into next year, Koenig replied, “I think it’s the same message that we had throughout the entire season is just keep trying to get better every day. This group did a good job of really buying into that thought process and I would imagine this offseason is going to be very productive. I know we are busy in the recruiting process and trying to build as strong of a team as we can to hopefully put ourselves in that position again next year.”

Photo Credits: lewisflyers.com

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