ST. LOUIS - The Principia College women's soccer team was chosen to finish first this season in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) by the league's coaches. The Panthers, who went undefeated in conference play at 8-0, 14-3-2 overall and captured the regular season title in 2009, received five first place votes in the poll.
Principia head coach Lee Ellis, the 2009 SLIAC Coach of the Year, returns two-time SLIAC Player of the Year Alicia Girbes-Pierce and First Team All-SLIAC honorees Hanna Mehring and Lauren Wienecke. Girbes-Pierce led the Panthers with 20 goals and 12 assists for a total of 52 points last season. Mehring finished the 2009 season with five goals and seven assists, while Wienecke helped anchor a defense that posted nine shutouts.
Webster University received three first place votes in the pre-season coaches' poll and was selected to finish second overall. The Gorloks return a veteran squad that includes Christy Capkovic, Megan Niederschulte and Izzy Sherfy. Capkovic was a First Team All-SLIAC selection last season and recorded 33 goals and 12 assists for a total of 78 points. Niederschulte, who was Second Team All-SLIAC, finished the season with 22 goals and nine assists. Sherfy, a stellar defender, helped the Webster defense record 10 shutouts in 2009.
The 2010 SLIAC Women's Soccer Pre-Season Coaches' Poll:
1. Principia (5)
2. Webster (3)
5. Westminster (Mo.)