Alese Woolard enters her fifth season at the helm of the MSSU women's soccer program after serving four years as an assistant coach on former head coach Trevor Wachsman's staff from 2006-2009.
The 2013 campaign saw the Lions beat both of the top finishers in the MIAA, 2-1 over then 11th ranked Central Missouri and 2-0 over second place Northeastern State. Woolard would add three more All-Conferece performers in Dana Wilhelm (Third Team), Tiffany Laughlin (Honorable Mention) and sophomore Karley Thomas (Honorable Mention).
In Woolard's third season, the Lions would get off to a slow start (0-5-1), but Southern would rebound winning three of their next four games defeating Fort Hays State 2-1, and MIAA newcomers Nebraska-Kearney 3-0 and Lindenwood 6-3. Finishing the year with a 5-10-3 overall record, the Lions would qualify for their second consecutive MIAA Post-Season tournament thanks to a 1-0 win in double overtime at Northwest Missouri. Four Lions would earn All-MIAA honors including senior forward Megan Stueve who would finish her career putting together one of the top individual seasons in MSSU soccer program history finishing the year with a MIAA league-leading 13 goals and 27 points, while ranking third in the conference with 59 shots, including 31 on goal. Senior midfielder Candis Clark, senior defender Cortney Sanders and junior forward Tiffany Laughlin were also named All-MIAA honorable mention.
The 2011 season would see the Lions start 0-7-1 before
they would tie a school record with five straight wins. In that
stretch Southern defeated Emporia State 2-1, conference rival
Southwest Baptsist 2-1 (2OT), Fort Hays State 2-1 (OT), Washburn
2-0, and Missouri Western 2-0. The win over Washburn marked
the second straight year that the Lions have won in Topeka against
the Ichabods. Southern would then win another four straight
as the Lions would make their first appearance in the MIAA
Post-Season tournament as the number three seed. The Lions would
face sixth-seeded SBU and win in the first round 1-0 and go on to
play second-seeded Truman in the semi-finals. The Lions would
use a goal in the final seconds to tie the Bulldogs at 1-1 to force
overtime and then defeat Truman 2-1 in OT and advance to play
Central Missouri for the tournament championship where they would
fall 3-1 but finish the season on a 9-3 stretch to finish with a
9-10-1 overall record.
In her first year at the helm in 2010, Woolard led the Lions to a 5-8-5 overall record and tied the school record for ties in the season with five as well as setting a school conference record with the five draws. The 2010 season also saw three streaks broken. The Lions scored four goals in a game for the first time with a 4-1 defeat of Emporia State since a 5-1 defeat of ESU on Oct. 2, 2008 and the 2010 season also saw the winless streak at Washburn University get snapped as the Lions won 2-0. Their last win in Topeka, Kan. was on Sept. 10, 2004, a 1-0 OT win. The final streak broken was a seven year winless draught in Maryville, Mo. as the Lions defeated the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 2-1 on Oct. 2.
Prior to her coaching stint, Woolard enjoyed a solid two-year playing career under former head coach Trevor Wachsman. Woolard made 14 starts in the net for the Lions and held the opposition scoreless for the final 227 minutes of the 2004 campaign. She recorded 77 saves and three shutouts in her two years at Southern.
Woolard also was a four-year softball athlete and was a finalist for the 2004-05 MSSU Female Athlete of the Year.
In 2005 Woolard had one of the most productive seasons offensively in Lions history leading the team in batting average (.351), runs (40), hits (61), doubles (9), triples (3), home runs (9), RBIs (37), slugging percentage (.592), and on base percentage (.392). Her nine home runs in that season is still a single-season record for Southern.
Woolard also holds a NSCAA State and Regional Goalkeeping Diploma, as well as an NSCAA Advanced Regional diploma.
Woolard graduated from Southern in 2005 and holds a Master of Education in Workforce Development Education with an emphasis in Adult Education from the University of Arkansas.
Stephanie Kirvan begins her first season on the coaching staff for the Lions. Prior to joining Coach Woolard's staff Stephanie spent two years at Piedmont College as the graduate assitant for the women's soccer program.
Kirvan helped guide the Lady Lions to a regular season USA South Athletic Conference title in 2014 and Post-Season tournament title in 2013. By virtue of the squad's 17-3-2 overall record and a trio of victories in the league's year-end championship tournament, Piedmont also earned its second NCAA National Tournament berth in 2013. In 2014 with a 10-1-1 USA South Athletic Conference record and a 14-4-2 overall record the Lady Lions barely missed their third NCAA regional berth.
The 2013 campaign also saw the Lady Lions go 9-1-2 in conference play to finish 2nd in the league table while also posting an undefeated 9-0-1 mark in the friendly confines of Walker Athletic Complex. That unbeaten stretch at home marked the first time since 1996 that the Lady Lions had not suffered a loss in Demorest.
The accolades didn't stop there for PC as five women's soccer players were named to the 2013 USA South All-Conference with one of those five, Piedmont's Laura Goodwin, also taking Tournament MVP honors for her performance in the league's year-end championships. Goodwin would later go on to be named the school's 2nd-ever Capital One Academic All-American in amongst a bevy of individual honors after a stellar 2013 season.
Kirvan spent the spring of 2013 coaching with the Southern Boone High School team back in her home state of Missouri serving as the Assistant Coach for the program. Coming off a district championship from the 2012 season, Kirvan helped lead the Eagles to an even 9-9-1 overall record as four of the team's 14 total players earned All-District honors that season.
Kirvan also volunteered for her alma mater working with Camdenton High School and the Girls Varsity Soccer Team in the summer from 2009-2012 including the 2011 team that won the District 10 Championship. Following the final summer that Kirvan worked with the Lady Lakers, the team went on to one of the program's highest win totals posting a 17-6-1 overall record.
Playing all four years of her collegiate career at William Woods University in Missouri, Kirvan made an impact with the Owls right away starting 16 games her freshman year as a midfielder scoring her first career goal in a win over Harris-Stowe earning honorable mention for the All-American Midwest Conference team on the season. Kirvan went on to start each match she appeared in for William Woods from that point forward earning All-Conference first team honors her senior year after leading WWU to 10 wins and a fourth place conference finish in 2012.
In all, Kirvan made 73 appearances for the Owls in four years as one of the team's most consistent players scoring 15 goals with 6 assists in her time with the program. In her junior season, Kirvan would demonstrate the same clutch play that made her a high school standout as she tabbed six goals in the 2011 season with three of those scores coming as game-winners for WWU.
Earning notoriety for Camdenton prior to enrolling at William Woods, Kirvan played two seasons for the Missouri high school program starting all 48 games during her junior and senior years tallying 17 assists and scoring 38 goals, the most by any Lady Laker in that two-year time period. During a senior season in which she averaged scoring a goal a game, Kirvan stepped up when it counted the most with six of her 24 scores coming as game-winning goals during the her final season with the team.
For her play with the Lady Lakers, Kirvan was named the Offensive Player of the Year and also saw a great deal of accolades come her way being named an All-Conference, All-District, and All-Region award winner. To cap it all off, Kirvan was honored as a Class 3 Missouri All-State selection in 2009, her twilight season with the team.
Having graduated from William Woods in May of 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies along with a minor in Coaching, Kirvan earned her Master of Business Administration from the graduate school at Piedmont College in 2015.