The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 2, 2013

MSSU women's soccer started in 1998

By Jim Henry
Globe Sports Editor

— Missouri Southern’s women’s soccer team took major steps forward during the formative years of the program.

Geoff VanDeusen, the Lions’ men’s soccer coach, started the women’s program as a club team in 1998. Its first victory was a 1-0 decision over Allen County Community College on Oct. 1.

In 1999 the women’s program joined the NCAA Division II and MIAA ranks. The Lions went 1-16-1 that fall, winning 2-1 at Southwest Baptist on Sept. 21.

Missouri Southern’s record improved to 5-11 in 2000, and the Lions logged their first victory at Hal Bodon Field that season with a 1-0 shutout over Central Arkansas on Sept. 15.

The first winning season came in 2001 when the Lions posted a 10-8-2 record. That 10-win season came just two seasons after winning one match.

Once again the victories increased in 2002 when the Lions finished 11-5-2 in VanDeusen’s final season.

Trevor Wachsman became the Lions’ coach in 2003, and he guided the Lions to three straight 11-win seasons from 2005 through 2007.

The 2005 and 2006 teams were almost unbeatable at home, finishing 9-1-1 and 7-1-1, respectively. The Lions finished second in the MIAA both of those years, and they made their only NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006, falling to Washburn 4-2 on a penalty kick shootout after a 1-1 draw through two overtimes.

Those two seasons coincided with the start of Nikki Llewellyn’s All-American career. Her 49 goals from 2005-08 are the most in school history.

Ashley Munnelly is second with 36 goals in just two seasons — 2001-02. Her 19 goals in 2002 remain the school’s single-season record.

Kaysie Griffin (2001-03) and Jentri White (2005-09) share the career assists record with 12, one more than Munnelly, Llewellyn and Lauren Kurelac (2004-07).

In goal, Kaney Tyler recorded 28 shutouts and 335 saves from 2004-07.

Alese Woolard succeeded Wachsman as coach in 2010. In 2011 the Lions placed third in the MIAA regular-season standings and second in the postseason tournament, falling to Central Missouri 3-1 in the final.