The 2013 postseason has reached the Truman women's soccer team, as the 24th ranked Bulldogs will open GLVC tournament play with a quarterfinal contest on Sunday at 1:00 pm against William Jewell in Kirksville.
Truman capped an 11-3-4 overall regular season on Wednesday with an abbreviated 0-0 draw with nationally-ranked and GLVC-leader Quincy at the Bulldog Soccer Park.
The Bulldogs and Lady Hawks battled for just more than 74 minutes before lightning and poor field conditions halted the match.
Since the match had surpassed the 70-minute requirement for a complete game by the NCAA, both teams picked up a draw to close the GLVC regular season slate.
In their first season of play in the GLVC, the Bulldogs earned the No. 2 overall seed for this week's conference tournament, as Truman posted a 10-2-3 mark in 15 GLVC matches.
One of those 10 wins came against Sunday's opponent, as 7th-seeded William Jewell (10-7-1, 8-6-1 GLVC) makes a return trip to Kirksville after falling to the Bulldogs 1-0 on October 6.
On the season, the Bulldogs have been one of the best in the nation on both sides of the ball, out-scoring its opponents 27-7 and out-shooting its opposition 282-175 (136-68 on goal).
Truman has been incredibly balanced both as a team and as individuals, scoring 13 goals in both the first and second halves (with one OT tally), while also getting contributions in the goal column from 14 different players.
Leading the way has been senior forward Trisha Shoemaker, who, in 17 matches is the team-leader in goals (8) and is tied for the team-high in assists (4).
Sophomore forward Alexis Heffernan has totaled 10 points (three goals, four assists), while senior midfielder Kristina Weishar ranks third on the squad with six points (one goal, four assists).
A pair of defenders, senior Suzanne Pelley and junior Lauren Seawright have scored twice each, while the midfield duo of senior Sally Smith and junior Melanie Hunt have combined for five assists.
Captaining the back line all season has been senior goalkeeper Emily Bozdeck, whose 0.38 goals-against average is in line for one of the top seasons in program history.
She has allowed just seven goals in 1,675 minutes of work and has posted an .897 save percentage en route to 11 shutouts.
Leading the Bulldogs on the sideline is head coach Mike Cannon, who is in his 21st season at the helm of the Truman program.
He has a 276-99-42 all-time record at Truman and is the seventh-winningest active coach in NCAA-II history.
Cannon has guided the Bulldogs to nine NCAA postseason appearances.
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Scouting the Opponent:
William Jewell checks into the GLVC tournament for the second time in as many seasons, bringing a 10-7-1 overall (8-6-1 GLVC) mark into Sunday's contest.
The Cardinals are just 3-5-1 (2-5-1 GLVC) away from home this season, having posted just a 1-5 mark in their last six road affairs dating back to mid-September.
WJC has a +6 goal differential on the season (+3 in GLVC-only matches) and is dead-even in shots on goal with its opposition at 120 apiece.
The Cardinals have been fast starters this year, scoring 23 of its 33 total goals in the first half, while being out-scored 17-8 in the second 45 minutes.
Individually, WJC is led offensively by senior Sarah Franklin, who paces the team with 10 goals and six assists.
Sophomore Ashley Licata (5G, 6A) and senior Olivia Dykes (5G, 1A) rank second and third on the squad in points.
Senior Kelli Sontag has started 16 of the team's 18 matches in goal, allowing 21 total goals and making 76 saves while posting two shutouts.
Jefferson Roblee is in his third season at the helm of the WJC program.
Earlier this Season vs. WJC:
Senior Trisha Shoemaker scored what turned into the game-winning goal in the 13th minute, while fellow senior Emily Bozdeck logged her seventh shutout of the season, as the No. 20 Truman women's soccer team blanked William Jewell 1-0 on Sunday (Oct. 6) afternoon.
The Bulldogs (8-1-2, 7-0-1 GLVC) rode Shoemaker's fourth goal of the season through a windy and damp day at the Bulldog Soccer Park to notch their fifth straight win.
Shoemaker came up on the other end of a through-ball by Sally Smith and beat William Jewell (5-5-1, 3-4-1 GLVC) keeper Kelli Sontag to her left side for a 1-0 Truman lead.
That margin would hold firm for the final 77 minutes of play, as Bozdeck posted three saves on the flip side of a Bulldog offense that logged a 16-8 edge in total shots.
Conference Tournament History:
Despite 2013 being the first season of tournament play as members of the GLVC, the Bulldogs will be making their fourth conference tournament appearance since the year 2007 with Sunday's match.
During the only three seasons the MIAA sponsored a post-season tournament, the Bulldogs qualified each time (2007, 2011, 2012).
In 2007, the Bulldogs defeated Washburn and Southwest Baptist by 1-0 margins to capture the tourney title, while 2011 and 2012 both saw Truman upset in one-goal games.
The second installment of the NCAA Midwest regional rankings were unveiled on Wednesday, with Truman still sitting third entering the final week of regular season play.
The region will receive six bids to the 2013 NCAA Div. II tournament on Selection Monday (Nov. 11), with the top two seeds earning the right to host first- and second-round matches. Currently, Grand Valley State and Quincy are ranked 1-2 in the region.
Truman is part of a five-member GLVC-bloc that includes No. 4 UW-Parkside, No. 5 Rockhurst and No. 6 Bellarmine, before GLIAC programs Ashland (#7) and Michigan Tech (#8) break the GLVC contingent. The GLVC and GLIAC leagues both receive automatic bids for conference champions, which are both determined by the post-season tournament.
Shoemaker Continues Top-10 Climb:
With her multi-goal game last Sunday, senior forward Trisha Shoemaker moved into 8th-place on the program's all-time goals scoring chart, passing recent graduate Olivia Hayes (24 goals, 2009-12).
She now sits two back of Jessica Wiegert (27 goals, 2006-09) for seventh on the all-time list.
You Can Put It on the Boardâ?¦:
Soccer statisticians point to the correlation between earning at least a win/draw when scoring the game's first goal, and that has been seen this season with the Bulldog women.
When Truman scores first, the purple and white are a perfect 11-0, compared to just an 0-3-1 record when the opponent scores first.
Bulldogs Stay in Poll at #24:
In this week's NSCAA top-25 coaches' poll, the Bulldogs slipped back one spot to No. 24, unveiled Tuesday afternoon.
Truman continues to be just one of two (No. 9 Quincy) GLVC squads ranked in the top-25, with fellow regional-mate Grand Valley State holding down the top spot with a 14-0-1 record.
Should the Bulldogs advance (via either win or penalty kicks) against William Jewell, the squad would then move into the GLVC semifinals on Friday, November 8. Both the semifinals and championship (Nov. 10) will be held at the highest-remaining seed.