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Women’s Soccer Shuts Out Heartland for First Win

September 10, 2012

Taylor Giese  
Taylor Giese capped the scoring for St. Louis Community
College against Heartland in a 2-0 win.

Following a trip to Florida in which the Archers went 0-1-1 and held to a single goal, the team was in need of a fast start offensively in its home opener against Heartland Community College.

Freshman midfielder Brittany VanDerLeest (Northwest) provided that early spark, igniting the Archers’ offense with a goal in the 36th minute. Freshman Taylor Giese (Seckman) would add an insurance goal just six minutes later to provide the winning 2-0 margin.

The early lead allowed the Archers to play from a comfort zone they have rarely been able to experience in the season’s first month.

“We got our motivation up after that, and then finally, everything worked after that (first goal),” VanDerLeest said.

If given a grade for degree of difficulty, Giese would have scored highly for her goal in the 42nd minute. With heavy traffic in front of the goal, Giese lofted a high kick over both the Heartland defensive unit and goalkeeper, and into the top left corner of the net.

Brittany VanDerLeest  
Brittany VanDerLeest scored the game-winning
goal in the Archers' first victory of the season.

Both STLCC and Heartland had to contend with a soggy field, drenched from a Friday night downpour that rained out the would-be home opener against Union University. The result was a field that left both teams struggling for traction early.

“We’re used to practicing on turf, so we’re used to moving fast-speed and then everything just went slow,” VanDerLeest said. “We definitely had to step our game on that and be on top of the ball.”

The game marked both the first career win and shutout for freshman goalie Apolonia Thomas (Cape Girardeau Central), who denied Heartland all six shots on goal.

Thomas was quick to credit her teammate, sophomore goalie Meggin Werner (Mehlville), for speeding her progress in net.

“Meggin has really been a big help in practice,” Thomas said. “I don’t think I would have been able to do what I did today without her help.”

The Archers’ success in part was due to a number of players determining their roles in recent practices. Head coach Juergen Huettner had shuffled the lineup frequently through the first three weeks, looking for a consistent combination both offensively and defensively. He was able to find that on Saturday.

“We moved a couple players around and found spots where they can really blossom,” Huettner said. “Also, there were some little things that just fell in place. (Freshman) Lauren Guerrero had a great game today. Taylor Giese, just a superb game for her today. Everyone just stepped it up. A couple players being in the right spots – Taylor Giese, Katie Rapisardo – just really made a big difference for our team.”