The women's soccer team at Quincy University went 13-1 in conference play this past fall, with a 17-4-1 overall record — the second-most wins in the program's history.
The Hawks won their first game in the NCAA tournament against Bellarmine University before losing 3-1 to Grand Valley State University. Nevertheless, the team from the Catholic university in Illinois finished the season ranked 11th in the final National Poll United Soccer Coaches Association Poll.
Leading scorer on the team was senior Mackenzie Rief, with 10 goals on the season. Rief played at St. Dominic High School in O'Fallon where she helped the Crusaders to back-to-back Missouri state championships. She had 44 goals and 17 assists in her prep career.
Another St. Dominic grad, Allison Birke, and Rief were named United Soccer Coaches All-Americans Nov. 29. Birke was named a First Team All-American and Rief was named to the second team, while also being named Scholar First Team All-American. Birke was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year. A senior, she started every game in her Quincy career.
While playing in all but seven minutes this season, Birke helped the Hawks record 13 shutouts. The team allowed just 17 goals all season with Birke at centerback and another St. Dominic grad, senior Megan Swanson, in goal. Birke has been named to three all-region teams in her Quincy career.
Rief was named GLVC Offensive Player of the Year while leading the GLVC in nearly every offensive category during the 2017 season. Rief ranked third in the country in game-winning goals with eight. She finished her career with 19 goals. Rief has also been named to a pair of all-region teams in her career and was named a CoSIDA Academic All-District performer for her work in the classroom.
A highlight of Quincy's season was a game on Oct. 25, the final regular season game, when the Hawks were down 2-0 before scoring two goals in the second half and another goal in the second overtime to beat William Jewell 3-2. Freshman Maddie Bauer, another St. Dominic grad, scored in the 105th minute to complete the comeback for the Hawks and extend their winning streak to nine.
In the 56th minute, Quincy scored on a header by Rief off a corner kick by senior Bailey Greubel, a Nerinx Hall grad. A shot by Bauer was saved in the 86th minute and the rebound ended up at the feet of senior Katie Heiligenstein. Heiligenstein, who also played at St. Dominic High School, tied the game at 2-2 with her fifth goal of the season and setting the stage for Bauer's game-winner.
Bauer won an offensive player of the week award from the GLVC for her performance in the game. It was Quincy's third straight offensive player of the week awardee after Rief won the previous two times. Bauer added another goal in Quincy's 3-0 quarterfinal win over Illinois Springfield in the conference tournament Oct. 29. The team lost in the conference finals.
In all, Quincy had 13 players on its roster from Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Head women's soccer coach Dave Musso recently accepted the head coaching position at Lindenwood University. He spent 12 years as the head coach at Quincy, winning 165 games, making the NCAA Tournament 10 times, and winning the GLVC Tournament in 2012 and 2013.
Catholic high school graduates from the archdiocese — especially from St. Dominic — help other college soccer programs to success. At Lewis and Clark College in Godfrey, Ill., St. Dominic grad Kassidy Louvall scored 24 goals and added 10 assists for the team with an 18-3 record. She scored the winning goal in overtime to give her team a 3-2 victory over Georgia Military College on the second day of pool play at the NJCAA Women's Soccer National Championship tournament in Florida.
Kenny is a staff writer for the Review and a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Oakville.