The St. Louis Lions opened their inaugural season Sunday in front of a crowd of 150 plus and typical Lion’s weather – over 90 degrees and humid. Their opponent, the Springfield Demize, are also a first year program and like the Lion’s roster below are made up of primarily college players now being offered a Summer development opportunity to prepare for their next college season. There are some notable exceptions, with Christina Rodriguez the most exciting. Rodriguez, who developed under her father’s tutelage within the Tony Glavin SC, returns to competitive play after graduating from St. Louis University a year ago. St. Louis Lions WPSL Debut against Springfield Demize
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Rodriguez is joined by her sister Raquel, who played in the defensive midfield behind her. Raquel will be a junior at Southwest Baptist this Fall, earning kudo’s as a top newcomer after transferring in last Fall.
MacKenzie Rief (Quincy 2018) joins them as a St. Dominic alumni. Rief’s college career ended this year with both All-American recognition AND First Team All-American SCHOLAR Athlete. Rodriguez scored the first goal for the club before the second minute had elapsed Saturday, finishing from inside the six yard box following a goalie miscue. Rief got the second with a 35 yard shot that somehow fell under the crossbar about the five minute mark.
The Lion’s came out in a 4-2-3-1 with Olivia Silverman (SLU) in goal. Stacie Muehling (Maryville/Zumwalt South) and Brittany Steiger (Lindenwood/Howell) partnered in the central defense with Brice Bement (Austin Peay/St. Joe) and Madison Schmeid (Maryville/Zumwalt South) on the outside. Schmeid and Muehling continue their partnership in High School, College and now in the WPSL.
The defensive midfielders were Raquel Rodriguez and Mariah Loya, a Tucson native who is a sophomore at Maryville, a part of a Maryville defense with Muehling and Schmeid that propelled the team to it’s first ever GLVC Playoff spot last season.
Missing from this early game was Allison Verville, the most interesting attacking player I saw while covering 14 women’s college matches last Fall, six of which were GLVC games. The Saint’s, with five players on the roster are the second largest contributor to the team. Alex Johnson led the team with six goals while starting 14 games at Maryville in 2017. The Nixa/OPSA alum was named to the Midwest All-Regional team with Verville and was also named the GLVC Freshman of the Year.
The attack is centered by Cristina Rodriguez with Rief, and later Johnson, who also scored, playing as target forwards. Aligned on the wings were Casey Woods (Lindenwood-Belleville/Columbia) and Danielle Pearce (Greenville/Glendale).
|ALLI KLUG||CB||SLU||2020||Nerinx Hall||SLSG MO ECNL|
|BELLA PALAZZOLO||D||SLU||2019||MI||Vardar ECNL|
|2||BRICE BEMENT||D||Austin Peay||2019||St. Joeseph||SLSG MO ECNL|
|21||CHRISTINA RODRIGUEZ||ACM||SLU||2017||St. Dominic||Tony Glavin|
|COURTNEY REIMER||M||SLU||2020||Duchesne||SLSG MO ECNL|
|EMMA GARNER||D||SBU||2021||Notre Dame|
|5||JESSICA KOVACH||M||WUSTL||Buffalo Grove|
|3||MACKENZIE RIEF||F||Quincy||2018||St. Dominic||Lou Fusz Wipke|
|MADDIE POKORNY||M||SLU||2019||Webster Groves||Lou Fusz Becher|
|14||MADDISON BECK||CB||Lindenwood-Belleville||2019||Webster Groves|
|6||MADISON SCHMIED||D||Maryville||Zumwalt South|
|MARY NIEHAUS||GK||SLU||2019||Nerinx Hall||Tony Glavin|
|1||OLIVIA SILVERMAN||GK||SLU||2020||Cincinnati||Ohio Elite ECNL|
|20||RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ||M||SBU||2020||St. Dominic||Tony Glavin|
|15||SARAH GARCIA||D||State Fair CC||Sedalia|
|30||SLOANE CARLSON||GK||Marquette||Cor Jesu|
|4||STACIE MUEHLING||CB||Maryville||Zumwalt South|