Category: Great Lakes Valley Conference


Drury Panthers Return To National Polls

shane-woods-drury-panthersVia – Off to a 6-1-1 start to the season, the Drury men’s soccer Panthers cracked the national Top 25 for the first time in three seasons when they made their debut at No. 19 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll released Tuesday.

Coach Ryan Swan’s Panthers were fueled into the poll by a 2-2, double-overtime draw on Sunday at No. 9 and unbeaten Quincy, which jumped to No. 6 nationally in this week’s poll. Drury is also No. 3 in the NSCAA Midwest Regional rankings, trailing only Quincy and Saginaw Valley State.

Drury is led in scoring by freshman Shane Woods (Kearney, pictured at right), with 5 goals and 4 assists from eight games. He’s started every game this season and has one game-winning goal, scored against Southwest Baptist Labor Day weekend.

Only one of those goals has come in conference play, a late score at the University of Indianapolis in a 3-1 win. He’ll become an impact player when he begins scoring against GLVC opponents. At Kearney he had 54 goals his senior year and 114 total (the Missouri record is 138, set last week). He was featured recently on the Panther’s website, check out the former Sporting KC Academy player who is being compared favorably to the Panther’s #2 all-time scoring leader, Steve Wilczewski (Glendale).

The more interesting story for me is the production that Coach Swan is getting from juniors like Mike Yuede (St Dominic) and Matt Hutchinson (CBC), who each have four goals while Yuede has one assist and Hutch three. With only one senior (Nicholas Fish) it is the Juniors who are providing the leadership. Yuede, who started in 22 games his first two years at Drury, is now coming off the bench exclusively while Hutchinson has five starts and is on track to match his team-leading six goals from 2011.

The team is led from the back by Jr Captain and central defender Adam Heiligenstein (Hazelwood West) who partners with So. Eric Heet (Chaminade) in martialing a unit that has given up only 4 goals in 8 games, two of which came in last weeks tie at Quincy. Freshman starters include GK Blake Andrews, Woods and midfielder Matt Clarkin (CBC) while Sophomores Scott Stiffler (St Dominic) and Jack Mathis (CBC) are at midfield, joined by Ryan Haas (Holt) and Mike Lee (CBC) on defense. Junior Brendan Langford (Texas), a defensive midfielder, rounds out the 10 regular starters.

The Panthers, 4-1-1 in league play, return to action this weekend at Harrison Stadium/The Curry Sports Complex, playing host to Maryville at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Missouri-St. Louis at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Great Lakes Valley Conference matches. The latter will be televised by Mediacom Connections 22.


NCAA D2 Men’s Soccer In the Ozarks

matt-hutchison-drury-panthersThe Drury Panthers are hosting the Drury Invitational with four games for the men this weekend. Coach Ryan Swan’s squad finished last fall with a flurry, knocking off top-seed, regular season champion and nationally fourth-ranked Northern Kentucky 2-1 in Highland Heights to kick off a scintillating run in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Championships, one that wasn’t halted until the Panthers fell 2-1 in two overtimes to Quincy in the title match in Kansas City.

That allowed the Panthers to finish with a 13-8-0 overall mark after victories in six of their final nine matches, all done with a squad that featured freshmen and sophomores in the majority of starting slots.

Drury_MensSoccer_LogoSaturday Sep 1, 7:30 pm: Drury vs Southern Nazerene
Monday Sep 3, 2:30 pm: Drury vs Southwest Baptist
Games are at Harrison Stadium/The Curry Sports Complex
The Panthers must find a replacement for their three-year starter in goal, graduated senior Stephen Conner, as priority one. Conner left DU as the record-holder in nearly every career and many single-season keeper categories, and now serves as the volunteer keepers coach. Freshman Blake Andrews is likely to get first crack at the job, with senior Andrew Klump and sophomore Logan Ponche also in heavy competition for minutes in goal.

Everywhere else, the Panthers are simply plugging in rotations and minutes for depth purposes, with starters back at nearly every position. That includes the top two goal-scorers from a year ago in junior forward Matt Hutchison (6 goals, 3 assists) and sophomore All-Great Lakes Valley Conference Third Team midfielder Jack Mathis (4 goals, 6 assists). Read more

Saturday Sep 1: SBU vs. Delta State, 5:00 p.m. at Drury
Monday Sept. 3: SBU vs. Drury, 2:30 p.m.
The SBU Bearcats will open the season in Springfield, participating in the Drury Invitational. The Bearcats will fit into an MIAA conference which includes Fort Hays, Lindenwood, Northeastern State, Truman State, Upper Iowa, Harding, and Southern Nazarene, as the Bearcats look to contend for an MIAA Championship this season. The Bearcats were selected to finish 8th in the pre-season MIAA poll, but the players are looking forward for the opportunity to bring SBU Men’s Soccer back to Bolivar. The Bearcat captains are Nathan Fraley (Rolla) and Bradley Stillwagon (Bolivar).

Saturday Sep 1 5:00 pm: Missouri S&T vs Lindenwood at Quincy
Sunday Sep 2 5:00 pm: Missouri S&T vs Truman State at Quincy
The Missouri S&T Miners are participating in the Quincy Soccer Bowl and will face a pair of MIAA squads in Lindenwood and Truman State. The games have been moved to Flinn Stadium (4400 Maine St.), which has an artificial turf field, due to relentless rains in the Quincy area this weekend.

The Miner’s qualified for the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament for the fourth straight year in 2011, finishing at 10-6-2. They have been picked to finish in one of the playoff spots again this fall as the Miners were tabbed for a seventh place finish in the 16-team league by its coaches.

The Miners were 8-5-2 in the highly competitive GLVC, which had the NCAA Division II national champion two years ago and a team that reached the national quarterfinals last fall. Missouri S&T does enter the season with its top four scorers back from last year’s squad, but lost All-America goalkeeper Pat McNamee (Fenton, Mo./Vianney ), who set the school record for career shutouts with 26. Read more

My coverage list includes the Drury Panthers (D2, Great Lakes Valley Conference), Missouri S&T Miners (D2, GLVC) and Southwest Baptist Wildcats (D2, MIAA) I’ve added College Men to the Calendar I maintain, you can find it in the right sidebar.


NCAA Division 2 Women’s College Soccer in the Ozarks

drury-panthers-hatz-sprouse-clineI’ve updated my calendars for the area teams I’ll be tracking this season. All of the teams are in action this weekend and there are some interesting games on tap. Here are the current schedules for the Labor Day weekend. Check the schools website to be certain before heading out during this weekends weather.

The Drury Panthers, featuring three local women in Shelby Hatz, Lindsey Sprouse and Emily Cline (pictured), are hosting the Drury Invitational with four games for both the men and the women this weekend. A strong finish to last season – a 4-1-1 mark in its final six matches – has given the Drury women’s soccer team a healthy dose of optimism for the 2012 campaign. Now if they could just get everyone healthy so they could act upon it.

Friday Aug 31 7:30 pm: Drury vs Washburn (MIAA)
Sunday Sep 2, 2:30 pm: Drury vs Wayne State
Games are at Harrison Stadium/The Curry Sports Complex
A rough preseason on the injury front, including the loss of a prized freshman, Mariah Gove (ankle) to a season-ending injury before they even got started, has coach Alf Bilbao’s Panthers opening the season with a skeleton crew. The Panthers, coming off an 8-8-2 finish in 2011, will likely begin the campaign with just 14 healthy field players, but with several due to work their way back into the lineup as the season’s opening weeks commence. Read more

Friday Aug 31 5:00 pm: Missouri S&T vs Wayne State
Sunday Sep 2 12:00 pm: Missouri S&T vs Washburn
The Missouri S&T Miners are also participating in the Drury Invitational and will face Washburn and Wayne State as well, saving direct matches against Drury for GLVC play later this season. The Miner’s are picked to finish 11th in the GLVC this season with a key factor being the loss of Melissa Young (Helias) who has graduated. A preview of the team can be found here.

Friday Aug. 31: MSSU at Missouri-St. Louis, 2:30 pm
Sunday Sept. 2: MSSU at Quincy 12 p.m.
The Missouri Southern women’s soccer team, picked to finish fifth this season, will begin play on the road. They will travel to Missouri St. Louis before heading north of the Missouri border to face Quincy. Defender Corrine Tebbs returns to anchor the Lion defense. Junior Tiffany Laughlin joins the squad from Missouri State. The Joplin Globe offered Southern Soccer Opens with Confidence today, a good read!

Friday Aug. 31: SBU vs. Upper Iowa 4:30 p.m.
Friday Sept. 1: SBU vs. Concordia St. Paul 2:30 p.m.
The SBU Bearcats will open the season in Fayette, Iowa where they will face Upper Iowa and Concordia St. Paul. They are led by senior goalkeeper Megan Link who allowed only 2.13 goals per game and recorded two shutouts during the 2011 season.

My coverage list includes the Drury Panthers (D2, Great Lakes Valley Conference), Missouri S&T Miners (D2, GLVC), Missouri Southern Lions (D2, Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association) and Southwest Baptist Wildcats (D2, MIAA) I’ve added College Women to the Calendar I maintain, you can find it in the right sidebar.


Drury Panthers Add Irish International Ciara O’Brien

ciara-obrien-republic-of-ireland-u19Drury women’s soccer coach Alf Bilbao has announced the signing of Ciara O’Brien to a national letter-of-intent to compete for the Panthers beginning with the 2012-13 season.

O’Brien is a defender from St. Angela’s Ursuline in Waterford City, Ireland. She has represented Ireland in the U14, U15, U17 and currently at the U19 levels, and competed in the U17 European Championship final against Spain, as well as in the U17 World Cup. She is pictured here front and center, taken from theRepublic of Ireland U19 Facebook Page. She has played 21 matches for the Irish youth squads according to her page at Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it.

O’Brien currently plays for Wexford Youth Women’s AFC. The squad finished 5-5-5 last season, 4th in the table.

“Ciara will bring a great deal of experience to our squad,” Bilbao says. “She has played at the highest level, and those experiences will no doubt help our program. She can play anywhere across the back line as well as in the center of midfield. We are expecting Ciara to make an immediate impact.”

O’Brien, who plays to study Marketing at Drury, becomes the ninth recruit to join the Panthers for next season. Drury is coming off an 8-8-2 campaign in which it went 4-1-1 in its final six matches.

Based upon a short perusal of her Twitter feed, one of the first items of business upon arriving in the USA will be seeing Pretty Little Liars ‘live’.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share another item from her experience with the ROI U19 squad. Welcome to Springfield Ciara. Be sure and say hi to my buddy Bill at Farmer’s Gastropub for me. I’ll see you in Lebanon for the McKendree game October 7th.

Oh, and who’s the star in the hoody and sunglasses? I want to party with her! service


Hutchison, Stiffler and Rivera Recognized by Drury Panthers

matt-hutchison-drury-panthersThe Drury Panthers reached the GLVC Championship match this season, losing to the Quincy Hawks in OT. Drury finished 13-8-0, as a young squad that coach Ryan Swan heralded as one of the best incoming groups in the league – with seven freshmen in the regular playing rotation – arrived a little ahead of schedule, advancing to the league championship game for the second time in three years.

Post-season awards were recently announced by Head Coach Ryan Swan as part of the Alumni game festivities.

Sophomore Matt Hutchison (CBC) was named MVP. Hutchison led the Panthers with six goals and fifteen points, including game winners at Southern Indiana on September 18 and vs. Bellarmine on September 25. He was second on the Panthers with three assists, with those coming in games at William Jewell, at Kentucky Wesleyan and at Saint Joseph’s.

Freshman Scott Stiffler (St Dominic) had the Goal of the Year. It came in the GLVC Championship opening game against Northern Kentucky. The Norse, the top-ranked team in the latest NCAA-II Midwest Region rankings, were tied 1-1, but Drury countered when Stiffler – the hero with his goal in the 88th minute in Drury’s 1-0 win at Missouri S & T Wednesday that was necessary for the Panthers even to make the GLVC Tourney field – scored again.

This time, Stiffler connected from 30 yards out to inside the left post for his second career goal. I can’t find a video of the goal, if anyone can point me to one, let me know!

Sophomore defender Pedro Rivera was recognized with the Panther Award. Rivera is from Guatemala City where he attended the American School of Guatemala.

Other area players to feature this year for the Panthers include senior GK Stephen Conner (Glendale), sophomore Brett Murray (New Covenant) along with freshmen Dylan Corbett (Kickapoo) and Reece Conner (Glendale). dubai independent escort