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Defensive Stand Helps Archers Hang on for Win

October 11, 2012

Lauren Guerrero  
Lauren Guerrero scored her first collegiate goal in the
Archers' 2-1 win over Southwestern Illinois College.

With just 20 minutes remaining and the Archers holding on to a tenuous one-goal lead, the situation was less than ideal. Freshman forward Katie Rapisardo (Mehlville) was charged with a red card, leaving the Archers to finish their home finale against Southwestern Illinois College a player down.

The Archers, who gained their 2-1 lead just two minutes into the second half on a goal from freshman Lauren Guerrero (Mehlville), switched to a more conservative, defensively-oriented strategy for the remainder of the game and hung on for that 2-1 win.

“We didn’t look or another goal at that point,” head coach Juergen Huettner said. “What we did was, instead of playing a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3, we used four backs, four midfielders and one forward.”

Guerrero, who has played in each of the Archers’ games this season, including 11 starts, netted her first collegiate goal in the 47th minute to provide the winning margin. Following the game, however, Guerrero was quick to credit the team’s defensive unit for making the one-goal lead stand up.

“We played well as a team, even with a man down,” Guerrero said. “It was a really good effort from us. We just tried to hold the ball and not make any mistakes.”

The Archers did just that, including controlling the ball in the offensive corners of the field in the final minutes to outlast SWIC.

STLCC gained its first lead in the sixth minute, when freshman forward Jessica Smugala (Seckman) notched her 10th goal of the season, becoming the first Archers player this year to reach double figures in goals. SWIC responded with the tying goal eight minutes later.

Sophomore goalie Meggin Werner (Mehlville) limited SWIC from there, turning away what few chances the Blue Storm was able to create in the second half.

The win helped the Archers to rebound from a 2-1 overtime loss to 15th-ranked Parkland College on Tuesday. With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Archers, who will enter the postseason as the top-seeded team in Region XVI, improved their record to 11-3-1.

Katie Foytlin  
Team captain Katie Foytlin successfully moved from
midfielder to defender for the Archers this season.

“Especially now with Katie (Rapisardo) out, we all just need to pick it back up and go into the playoffs with confidence,” said sophomore defender and team captain Katie Foytlin (Belleville East).

Thursday marked the final home game for Foytlin and her six sophomore teammates—Werner, Brittany Russell (Columbia), Erin Lucido (Incarnate Word), Lauren Steele (Valley Park), Brooke Valleroy (Saxony Lutheran) and Natalie Mayhall (Ritenour). While the Archers have plenty to look forward to with the amount of young talent on this team, the contributions of the graduating seven players have been notable.

“The seven sophomores we had, every one of them contributed in a large portion this year,” Huettner said.

Huettner made particular mention of the roles of Foytlin, who transitioned from midfield to sweeper as a sophomore, and Werner, who has helped groom a pair of freshman goalies for the starting job in the coming year.

The Archers will conclude their season with road games against College of Lake County (Oct. 14) and Lindenwood University-Belleville (Oct. 17).