SLIAC Men’s Soccer again on collegecasts.com

At A Glance [from SLIAC.org]
The 2016 SLIAC Men’s Soccer Tournament field includes Fontbonne University, Spalding University, Webster University, and Westminster College. Semifinal games will be held Thursday with the championship game being played on Saturday.

Schedule/Results
Thursday, November 3
Game 1 – #1 Spalding def. #4 Webster, 4-3
Game 2 – #2 Westminster def. #3 Fontbonne, 2-1 OT

Saturday, November 5
Championship Game – Spalding vs. Westminster (Louisville, Ky.)

Collegecasts Championship Game Broadcast link

FONTBONNE UNIVERSITY ‘GRIFFINS’

Despite not winning a game in the first month of the season the Griffins put it all together in October, going 8-2. After being blanked in four of their first five games the Griffins offense averaged 4.8 goals per game in their final ten contests to finish third in the league in scoring. The trio of Ryan Dudley, Austin Willenbrock, and Nick Wolf have each recorded at least 12 points this season. Maybe most impressively for the Griffins this season has been the fact that five different players have recorded a game winning goal this season. Defensively Tony Pitaro has been the mainstay in net for the Griffins.

Overall Record: 8-10-1
SLIAC Record: 7-2
Tourn.Appearances:21
Tourn. Titles: 4
Last: 2006

Coaches Corner with Ricky Andrews
The team got off to a tough start this season, what was the turning point?
“The turning point, for us, it was just staying together and believing in what has got us to where we are now and that’s the playoffs. Playing the Washington University game, that was a great achievement as a team to play them that tough.”

You have a balanced attack, what is the benefit of having multiple players being able to step up for the team?
“Having everyone in attack is having success for us because I believe the guys are working hard off the ball and no one is being selfish. We can score from the deep midfield positions or attacking midfield; having every player offensively just gives us great balance.”

 

SPALDING UNIVERSITTY ‘GOLDEN EAGLES’

Spalding completed an undefeated SLIAC regular season, going 9-0, just the eighth time in conference history a team has had a perfect slate. They carry a ten game winning streak into the tournament and are making their second trip in program history, joining the 2014 squad. The Golden Eagles finished second in the league in scoring with freshmen Osman Hussein (11 goals) and Kornell Hilliard (8 goals and 6 assists) leading the way. On the back end they rely on senior defender Joey Lesher, who has also totaled six goals. Goalie Ryan Glynn has played nearly every minute in net for Spalding, recording 64 saves and six shutouts.

Overall Record: 11-6
SLIAC Record: 9-0
Tourn. Appearances: 2
Tourn. Titles: 0
Last: n/a

Coaches Corner with Adam Boyer
Your program won its first ever SLIAC regular season title, how do you keep your team focused on their remaining goals for the season?
“Winning the program’s first title is a major accomplishment and something every member of our team is proud of achieving this season. Still, when we set out our goals at the beginning of this season, the top priority for the team was winning the SLIAC Tournament and earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The leadership from the upperclassmen has been fantastic and the players are hungry and determined to accomplish more and keep this season going.”

Kornell Hilliard and Osman Hussein have had an immediate impact as freshmen, how have you seen them grow as the season progressed?
“Kornell and Osman have had impressive seasons, and have been playing their best soccer over the last few weeks. As a team we had a slow start to the season and it is no surprise that as Osman and Kornell started scoring goals our results as a team have improved. There is no doubt their offensive production has played a huge part in winning ten straight games but overall it has been a complete team effort this season and it’s been incredible to see different individuals stepping up in different games and helping us to this memorable season.”

WEBSTER UNIVERSITY ‘GORLOKS’

Webster has had a an up and down season, recording back to back wins just twice this year. But one of those streaks is their current one as they will be looking to carry the momentum of their two game winning streak into the tournament. The Gorloks have been paced by sophomore Drew Quisenberry’s four goals and three assists. A balanced attack is rounded out by Brendan Shields (three goals, four assists) and Alex Whalen (five goals). Freshman Kyle Hertel has taken control in net for the Gorloks, with 31 saves in over 800-minutes of action.

Overall Record: 8-9
SLIAC Record: 6-3
Tourn.Appearances:20
Tourn. Titles: 4
Last: 2012

Coaches Corner with Mike Siener
How did playing a tough schedule early on in the season prepare the team as they entered conference play?
“Playing a tough non-conference schedule, we hope, prepares us for tough match-ups that we are going to face throughout the conference. Seeing and playing against some of the regions best players and teams can only make us better and more prepared for the conference.”

You come into the tournament having won your last two games, what do you have to carry on from those wins into the postseason?
“Our hope is our momentum will continue to carry into this week. We have been able to find the back of the net the last two games and hopefully that will get us some confidence going into Thursday’s game.”

 

WESTMINSTER COLLEGE ‘BLUE JAYS’

Westminster appears to be ramping up for the postseason, carrying a five game winning streak into the tournament. Over the last seven games the Blue Jays are averaging 5.3 goals per game. Westminster led the league in goals this year with 48 and are led by senior Drake Trease. Trease led the SLIAC with 14 goals and 32 points, recording four game-winning goals. David Immanuel was second on the team with nine goals and three game-winning goals. Junior Ben Chester has filled in admirably for the team after an off-season injury to All-Conference keeper Raul Belman. 

Overall Record: 12-3-1
SLIAC Record: 7-1-1
Tourn.Appearances:17
Tourn. Titles: 3
Last: 2015

Coaches Corner with Adam Galla

You took over the program relatively late in the summer, how did you get the team ready for the season as they prepare to defend their three consecutive tournament titles?
“Even though I came in right before our season started I felt like I had a very good grasp of the team that was ready to compete this fall. We have a great group of guys who are extremely coachable. They’ve worked very hard and have really bought into our team philosophy. Right now we are just focused on one day at a time and fully preparing ourselves for Fontbonne on Thursday.”

The team comes in having won five straight games with the offense picking up its pace as the season has gone on. Can you talk about how well the offense is clicking?
“We are heading into the conference tournament with confidence and know that if we play the way we are capable of playing that we are a nationally competitive team. I think that players are starting to fully understand our style of play and have built that familiarity with each other, especially in the final third of the field.”

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