Joplin, Mo. - Looking to close out the regular season on a strong note and position themselves for a berth in the MIAA Post-Season Tournament, the Missouri Southern soccer team plays their final two matches of the regular season this weekend hosting Missouri Western on Friday at 7 p.m. and Northwest Missouri on Sunday at 1 p.m. for Senior Day. Both games will be played at Hughes Stadium.
The Lions enter this weekend's action with a 3-7-4 overall record, 2-4-3 MIAA record and will look to get six critical points in the MIAA standings as they make a final push for postseason play. With nine points currently in the MIAA standings, the Lions sit 10th as the top eight teams move onto the postseason tournament. At halftime of Sunday's match, the Lions will honor this year's six seniors, goalkeeper Abby Risner, forwards Kelly White and Tiffany Laughlin and defenders Samantha Zoltanski, Dana Wilhelm and Megan Jenisch, for their contributions to the soccer program.
Sophomore forward Karley Thomas will look to add to her team-high nine points this weekend while she continues to be among the MIAA leaders in assists with five. Wilhelm and junior forward Katelyn Roberson continue to lead the Lions with three goals each. Goalkeeper Beth Hammons ranks among the MIAA leaders in save percentage (.805) and saves (66) ranking seventh in both categories.
About Missouri Western: The Griffons enter the final weekend of MIAA play with a 2-13-2 overall record, 0-9-1 in the MIAA. Led by third-year head coach Chad Edwards, a former men's soccer assistant coach at Southern, the Griffons have victories over Minnesota State-Moorhead and Wayne State (Neb.). Western is led in scoring by junior forward Tara Russell who has four goals and an assist on the year. Freshman goalkeeper Sarah Lyle has 15 starts in goal making 98 saves while posting a .766 save percentage on the year. The Lions hold a 10-2-2 advantage in the overall series with the Griffons, including a 6-0-1 mark at home. Southern fell 1-0 in overtime in St. Joseph last fall.
About Northwest Missouri: The Bearcats enter the final weekend of MIAA play with a 4-10-2 overall record, 2-7-1 in the MIAA and host MIAA leader Central Missouri on Friday before traveling to Joplin. Led by 11th-year head coach Tracy Hoza, the Bearcats have MIAA wins over Missouri Western and Emporia State at home this year. Northwest is led in scoring by senior midfielder Anna Calgaard who has a team-high five goals to go along with two assists for 12 points on the year. Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Adams has made 14 starts in goal making 84 saves while posting a .785 save percentage. The Lions and Bearcats are deadlocked at 12-12-3 in the overall series, but Southern holds a 8-4-3 advantage at home. Southern came out victorious over Northwest last fall winning 1-0 in double overtime as Laughlin picked up the assist on the winning goal.