December 1, 2004
2004 WOMEN'S SOCCER REVIEW
Vikings use defense to forge third straight winning season with 12-5-2 overall record; Set school record for winning percentage, team shutouts and goals-against-average
Defense has been the key to the success of the Augustana women’s soccer program ever since Scott Mejia became the head coach prior to the 2001 season. The Vikings have always been a tough team to score on and never was that more evident than in the 2004 campaign when the Blue & Gold combined a rock solid defense with an opportunistic offense. The result was a 12-5-2 overall record and a 3-2-2 mark in the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin, good enough for fourth place in the league.
In Mejia’s fourth year as the head coach, Augustana was in the double digit column for victories for the fourth consecutive season and put up a winning record for the third straight time. It has been a steady climb upward for the Vikings, who were 10-10-0 in Mejia’s first season and then went 13-8-0 in his second year (2002) and 11-7-3 in his third (2003). The 12-5-2 record this year is tied for the second most victories in school history, trailing only the record 13 accumulated in 2002. The .684 winning percentage is indeed a school record, bettering the mark of .650 set by Krisan Steiger’s 1995 team that went 12-5-2. In just four years, Mejia has put together a record of 46-30-5 (.599) overall and 14-11-3 (.553) at the Augustana helm.
His 2004 team had success because it made it hard for the opponent to score goals. The Vikings were averaged 2.61 goals per game with 51 in 19 matches. However, 25 of those came in three games (7-0 vs. Concord, 9-0 vs. Rockford and 9-0 vs. Illinois College). That meant that in the 16 other games Augustana scored just 26 goals, an average of just 1.6 per game. Defense obviously became a priority and the Vikings played it about as well as anybody.
With junior Betsy Knawa (Carl Sandbag HS, Roland Park, IL) and freshman Keri Hess (Schaumburg HS, Schaumburg, IL) sharing time in goal, Mejia’s team had a solid base from which to work. The Vikings allowed a total of just 15 goals in 19 games, an average of 0.77 per outing. Knew recorded most of the playing time, starting all 19 games and working a total of 1,341 minutes. She gave up 14 goals and had 64 saves on the year for 0.77 goals per game average. Hess saw action in 11 games and 388 minutes, allowing just one goal for a 0.23 goals-against-average. The Vikings posted 12 shutouts during the season, setting a new school record in the process. The old mark was 11 set in 2003. They also established a new school record for team goals-against-average of 0.77, erasing the previous mark of 0.93 in 2003.
After starting the year with four straight shutout victories, Augustana lost a 2-1 decision to Wisconsin-Whitewater on September 11. Identical 9-0 wins over Rockford and Illinois College were sandwiched around a 0-0 tie with Illinois Wesleyan and through the first eight games the Vikings had given up just two goals. A two game stretch with losses to Wheaton (3-1) and Loras (4-0) followed but the ship was righted in a 3-0 win over North Park on October 2. After beating Aurora 3-0 on October 6 the Vikings lost a 1-0 decision at Carthage on October 10. That would be the last defeat until the CCIW tournament. A 0-0 double overtime tie with Elmhurst on October 15 was followed by four straight victories, including a 3-2 road win at Luther.
The Vikings ended up with the fourth seed in the conference tournament and as a result had to travel to champion Wheaton for the first round. Despite playing well, Augustana lost a 2-0 decision to a Thunder team that would eventually go on to win the NCAA Division III national championship.
Knawa and midfielder Nicci Bosco (Vernon Hills HS, Vernon Hills, IL) were named first team all-conference while defenders Betsy Fritz (Woodstock HS, Woodstock, IL) and Annie Gajewski (York HS, Elmhurst, IL) and midfielder Emily Olson (Oregon HS, Oregon, WI) were second team picks.
Bosco was named the team’s MVP after she finished the season as the leading scorer with nine goals and one assist for 19 total points. A year ago, as a freshman, she scored eight goals and had one assist for 17 total points. With 17 career goals she has moved into sixth place on the school’s career list and her 36 total points make her seventh in that category.
Fritz was tabbed as the defensive MVP for the second straight year after spearheading the defense. She was a second team all-conference performer for the second straight year.
Sophomore defender Christina Peterson (Elgin Larkin HS, Elgin, IL) was chosen as the Most Improved Player and junior Krista Petrie (Cary Grove HS, Cary, IL) won the Iron Viking award. Peterson scored two goals and had two assists for six total points while Petrie scored five goals and had one assist for 11 total points.
Gajewski and Knawa were both named to the second team of the Co
AUGUSTANA 2004 WOMEN’S SOCCER SUPERLATIVES
OFFENSIVE MVP: Nicci Bosco
DEFENSIVE MVP: Betsy Fritz
MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Christina Peterson
IRON VIKING AWARD: Krista Petrie
CCIW ALL-CONFERENCE: (1st team) – Betsy Knawa (GK) & Nicci Bosco (MF)…(2nd team) – Betsy Fritz (D), Annie Gajewski (D) & Emily Olson (MF)
SCHOOL RECORD SINGLE SEASON WINNING PERCENTAGE: .684, breaking old mark of .650 set in 1995 (12-5-2)
2004 COLLEGE CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS & WISCONSIN WOMEN’S SOCCER STANDINGS
2004 CCIW TOURNAMENT
November 3 – Semifinals
Illinois Wesleyan 4, Carthage 1 in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Wheaton 2, Augustana 0 in Wheaton, Illinois
November 6 – Finals
Wheaton 5, Illinois Wesleyan 1 in Wheaton, Illinois