ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Many of the St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri ECNL ALUM are several weeks into their collegiate seasons, some of whom are experiencing college soccer and college life for the very first time. Most are returning with high hopes for the upcoming season from the Great Lakes, down through the SEC, over to the BIG 12, and up into the Mountain Region of the PAC 12. Ralph Richards, the ECNL Director, decided to check-in with the SLSG MO ECNL ALUM to see how life on campus is going before the Conference Play starts up.
“It’s nice to see the growth and evolution of our players through the ECNL years,” said Richards. “However, it is more rewarding to reconnect and observe the girls continuing to grow as soccer players, but more so as people through the life lessons of college soccer, life away from home, and establishing themselves as independent young ladies.”
Mary Maloney, a sophomore at Quincy University, stated its simply about team identity. “Our Non-Conference games helped us find our identity as a team and will help prepare us for our GLVC conference play.”
Kasey Hartmann, a freshman at Saint Louis University, is one of six SLSG MO ECNL Alumni currently playing at SLU. She said the hard work in non-conference will only help the team moving forward. “We played some really good teams that challenged us and showed us where we need to improve,” said Hartmann. “Now we’re starting over at 0-0 and can’t wait to compete and fight to win the A-10 championship and more.”
A teammate of Kasey had a little more to add. “We are starting fresh heading into conference play,” said Ali Klug, a junior at Saint Louis University who entered the season on the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List. “We have three objectives as a team: qualify for the A-10 Tournament, finish in the top four, and finally fulfill our mission of winning the A-10 Championship.”
“Our results were not great in non-conference, but the schedule was pretty hard,” said Delaney Shultz, a freshman of the Rice Owls squad. “Now that we are heading into conference play the team feels ready and excited, especially after playing teams like Alabama and Texas.”
Another ECNL ALUM in the Texas region is Kirsten Davis, a sophomore at Texas Tech. Kirsten played in all 19 games as a freshman and has already scored three goals this season. She is excited for the BIG 12 conference games to begin. “We had two road trips to the west coast and one to the east coast, all of which provided us with some great games. We have really started to play well together, and I am so excited about kicking off the Big 12 season, especially as it is home vs. one of the very best teams in the country.”
Emily Groark is also having a successful season to date on the stat sheet. Emily, a freshman at the University of Colorado, is second in the conference for assists this season and hopes to build off that going into conference play. “It has been a great start to the season so far,” said Groark. “The team has worked hard and I only hope to continue to help my team in creating more chances and possibly add a few goals in conference play.”
A handful of St. Louis ECNL ALUM compete in the Southeastern Conference. One member from Mizzou women’s soccer team claimed non-conference play is about preparation. “We played a challenging non-conference schedule for a reason,” said Cassidy Nurnberger. “We hope that all the hard work put forth in preseason will prepare us for a very tough SEC schedule.”
"It always makes the staff proud to see our alumni making a name for themselves at their respective schools," said SLSG MO Girls Director of Coaching Scott McDoniel. "We have been fortunate to work with some really amazing student athletes, just really awesome people who impacted our lives when they were in a Gallagher jersey. So many of them, have been, and continue to be, great role models for our young players and I think it's a special thing that the players at SLSG today have the players of SLSG from years past to look up to and emulate."