Southeast soccer to lose OVC offensive player of the year

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Southeast sophomore Courtney Alexander controlled the ball during a game last season. (Fred Lynch)

Southeast soccer to lose sophomore Courtney Alexander.

The Southeast Missouri State women's soccer team will shoot for a third straight NCAA tournament berth next season without the reigning Ohio Valley Conference offensive player of the year.

Southeast coach Heather Nelson confirmed Monday that sophomore forward Courtney Alexander recently told her she planned to transfer and will be leaving the program.

Nelson said Alexander indicated she wanted to play for a higher-level program, but the coach did not name a specific school. Alexander could not be reached for comment.

"It's disappointing. I was caught off guard," Nelson said. "But the fortunate thing about our team being so successful, we always have good players coming in.

"No one player makes or breaks our program."

Alexander, a native of Liberty, Mo., near Kansas City, was voted the 2007 OVC offensive player of the year after helping lead the Redhawks to conference regular-season and tournament championships.

Alexander scored nine goals and added six assists for 24 points. She was second on the squad in goals and points, while ranking third in the league in both categories. She also scored the program's first goal in an NCAA tournament game, when she beat Missouri's Mallory Forst during their first-round game in November.

As a freshman in 2006, Alexander led the Redhawks with nine goals and 21 points as they also captured the OVC tournament crown.

Despite losing Alexander and several key seniors, Nelson is confident the Redhawks will once again be a top OVC contender in 2008.

Southeast featured two of the top freshmen in the conference last season.

Ashley Runion was voted the OVC freshman of the year after leading the league with 27 points and finishing second with 11 goals.

Vanessa Hart, a midfielder, joined Alexander in earning all-region honors. They were two of only three OVC players to make the all-region team.

"We've got good players coming back, and I'm thrilled about our recruiting class," Nelson said.

the 2007 OVC coach of the year who said the Redhawks recently signed several players and soon will announce a total of six new recruits for 2008.

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