ST. LOUIS – Eight Saint Louis University women’s soccer student-athletes, including five first-team selections, earned Atlantic 10 Conference postseason honors as announced by the league office Thursday.
In addition, seventh-year head coach Katie Shields was chosen Coach of the Year for a second consecutive season after the Billikens repeated as A-10 regular-season champions.
Senior Alli Klug earned a third consecutive Defensive Player of the Year award, giving Saint Louis four recipients in a row after Kacey Bright claimed the honor in 2016. Klug is the first player in A-10 women’s soccer history to claim a major postseason award (Defensive Player, Offensive Player or Midfielder of the Year) three times.
Senior Courtney Reimer was selected Midfielder of the Year, becoming the first Billiken to earn the award.
Senior goalkeeper Mary Niehaus, senior midfielder Evie Lavelle and sophomore forward Hannah Friedrich joined Klug and Reimer on the All-Conference first team. SLU tied a school record by placing five players on the top unit.
Niehaus’ selection marks a fourth consecutive season that a Billiken goalkeeper has made the first team; Olivia Silverman was the honoree a year ago after Niehaus was tabbed in 2016 and 2017. Reimer garnered a fourth A-10 postseason honor after making the 2018 first team, the 2017 second team and the 2016 All-Rookie team.
Junior defender Brionna Halverson earned second-team All-Conference plaudits. The Billikens matched another school mark – set in 2017 and tied last season – with six players on the first and second teams combined.
Redshirt-freshman midfielder Anna Lawler landed on the All-Rookie team, giving SLU at least one player on the list for a fourth straight year.
Senior forward Alyssa Seitzer (nursing major, 3.874 grade point average), Klug (physical therapy, 3.663) and Reimer (occupational sciences, 3.685) were selected to the 11-member All-Academic team by the league’s women’s soccer sports information representatives. Seitzer collected the honor for a third time – making her just the second Billiken women’s soccer student-athlete to do so – and SLU’s three selections equaled a program record.
Klug, who earned first-team All-Conference plaudits for a third time, has played 1,775 of a possible 1,806 minutes this season. Her performance along the back line has helped lift Saint Louis to the top of the A-10 in goals against average (0.45) and shutouts (12). Klug also has contributed three goals and an assist.
Seven of SLU’s clean sheets, including four of the last five games, are against A-10 opponents, who have scored only four goals against the Billikens this season. Klug and her teammates allow just 7.6 total shots, 3.4 shots on goal and 2.6 corner kicks per game.
Reimer ranks second on the team in goals (six) and points (14), recording career highs in both categories, and she is 10th in the league in goals per game. She scored SLU’s first goal in a 2-1 win over George Washington that clinched the A-10 regular-season title, and she assisted on the game-winning goal in overtime vs. Saint Joseph’s.
Reimer was named to the Oct. 1 TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week. She is tied for eighth in career assists (17) at SLU.
Niehaus leads the A-10 in goals against average (0.28), save percentage (.914) and shutouts (career-high-tying 10). She has yielded just five goals this season, only two of which were scored by conference opponents, and she came up big in the George Washington game by making a career-high nine saves.
A two-time A-10 Defensive Player of the Week honoree this year, Niehaus is on pace to break her own SLU season-record 0.52 GAA. She ranks first in GAA (0.55), second in wins (43), shutouts (29) and minutes (5,223), and fifth in saves (178) on the Billikens’ career charts.
Lavelle picked up her second All-Conference award after earning second-team accolades as a sophomore. She leads Saint Louis and ranks seventh in the A-10 with six assists, and she has two goals on the season. Lavelle, along with Klug, is tied for fourth in career games played (83) at SLU and is seventh in career assists (18).
Friedrich leads Saint Louis in goals (10) and points (24). She tops the A-10 with seven game-winning goals – including two in overtime and two others in one-goal victories in regulation – and is sixth in goals and points. Friedrich netted seven of her 10 goals in A-10 regular-season action.
A second-team All-Conference choice and All-Rookie honoree in 2018, Friedrich is tied for second in game-winning goals (10), ninth in goals (21) and 11th in points (54) on the Saint Louis career lists. She was the A-10 co-Offensive Player of the Week and a TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the Week selection Oct. 28.
Halverson enjoyed a strong bounce-back season after missing the 2018 campaign due to injury. In addition to her contributions to Saint Louis’ league-leading defense, she has tallied two goals and an assist. Halverson was an All-Rookie pick in 2017.
Lawler, who transferred to SLU from Oklahoma State, has contributed two goals and two assists. Both of her goals were game-winners, including the game’s only tally in a 1-0 win at Missouri State.
Seitzer has three goals and three assists. Two of her goals were game-winners, lifting her into a second-place tie on the Bills’ career list with 10. Seitzer also is tied for seventh in goals (22) and tied for eighth in points (55) in Saint Louis history.
Shields has an 84-43-12 record at SLU, including 62-14-7 the past four seasons. The 62 wins are the most in the conference during that period, as well as the most of any four-year stretch in program history. SLU’s A-10 regular-season record the past four seasons is 33-3-4.
Saint Louis hosts the A-10 Championship semifinals and final Friday and Sunday, Nov. 8 and 10, at Robert R. Hermann Stadium. The Billikens (15-3-2), owners of a school-record-tying 14-game unbeaten streak, face La Salle Friday at 1 p.m. The title game is scheduled for Sunday at noon.