FOLLOW THE GAME – Free live statistics are available for Friday’s SLU-Arkansas State game. The link may be found in the schedule boxes located just below the main photo on www.SLUBillikens.com. Live stats also may be accessed by visiting slu.statbroadcast.com or, on your mobile device, slustats.com.
SCOUTING ARKANSAS STATE – The Red Wolves of the Sun Belt Conference return nine starters and six additional letter winners from their 2012 team that posted records of 11-8-1 overall and 5-4-1 (fifth place) in league play. Four of ASU’s top five scorers from a year ago are back – Christina Fink (9G, 7A), Loren Mitchell (7G, 3A), Katey Carmichael (6G) and Jena’ Kelley (4G, 2A). They lost to #4 seed Western Kentucky 0-1 in the opening round of the SBC Conference tourney to finish their best regular season ever in Head Coach Tafadzwa Ziyenge’s second season.
The Red Wolves opened their exhibition season Wednesday at Memphis where they lost 0-5.
ABOUT THE BILLIKENS – Saint Louis returns eight starters and 10 additional players from last year’s 5-9-4 team that finished 12th (3-4-2) in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Among the returning starters are senior forwards Maddie Gebauer (3G, 1A) and Jenny Hummert (2G, 3A), who tied for the team scoring lead in 2012. Junior forward Lindsay Elking tallied one goal and three assists last year after earning a starting spot. Senior defender Jessie Jarrett (1G, 1A) is back after helping the Bills post seven shutouts and a 1.11 GAA, as are junior defenders Maddy Bush (1G) and Mary Wright (1A). Additional returning starters are junior forward Abbey Stock and sophomore midfielder Katelyn Hammarlund. Sophomore midfielder Jamei Borges came off the bench and netted three goals in her rookie campaign. Also returning are senior forward Kailey Pretzlaff (1G, 1A), senior midfielder Tori Belgeri, junior defenders Andrea Strebler and Julia Merlo, junior midfielder Mallorie Owens, sophomore forward Livi Logan-Wood, sophomore defenders Colleen Cole and Michelle Schwarz, and sophomore goalkeeper Hanna Benben.
The Billiken’s faced SEMO on Wednesday and finished in a 0-0 draw that featured three freshmen in the starting lineup. Hanna Benben in goal had 3 saves. In the midfield freshmen Cristina Rodriguez (St Dominic) and Tori Marshall (Noblesville IN/Carmel United) partnered with senior Tori Belgeri (Ursuline) and sophomore Katelyn Hammarlund (Arlington Heights).
SEVEN FRESHMEN ON BOARD – The Billikens welcome seven freshmen to the 2013 team – defender Kacey Bright, forward Kirsten Clemens, midfielder Tori Marshall, defender Alyssa Mastroianni, forward Molly Piech, forward/midfielder Cristina Rodriguez and midfielder Shaney Sakamoto.
SERIES HISTORY – Saint Louis defeated Arkansas State 6-0 on Aug. 31, 2003, at Hermann Stadium in the only regular-season meeting between the teams.
HEAD COACH KATIE SHIELDS – Katie Shields, the third head coach in Saint Louis women’s soccer history, is in her first season guiding the Billikens. Shields was a SLU assistant coach last year. Prior to her arrival at Saint Louis, Shields spent two seasons as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Northwestern. She served three years in the same capacities at her alma mater, Harvard, where she helped guide the Crimson to Ivy League titles and NCAA Championship berths in 2008 and 2009. Shields began her coaching career with a one-year stint as an assistant at Cal Irvine. In addition to her collegiate coaching experience, she served as assistant goalkeeping coach for the Boston Breakers of Women’s Professional Soccer in 2009; head coach of the Boston Bolts F.C. girls’ youth clubs for two years; and camp director/senior staff member of Soccerplus Goalkeeper School from 2006-11. Earlier this year, she served as an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team. Shields is a 2006 graduate of Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in government. She is joined on the sideline by three newcomers to the staff – assistant coaches Scott Gloden and Vince Gentile and volunteer assistant Anne Gloden.
UP NEXT – The Billikens open the regular season Friday, Aug. 23, against Western Michigan at Hermann Stadium. First whistle for the game – the first of SLU’s program-record 11 home contests – is scheduled for 7 p.m.