SE nabs another easy win

Monday, September 10, 2001

The Southeast Missouri State University women's soccer team is off to the best start in the brief three-year history of the program.

Southeast blanked Central Arkansas 4-0 Sunday afternoon at Houck Stadium to remain undefeated and unscored upon.

The Otahkians, now 4-0 on the season, extended their home winning streak to seven.

Southeast coach Heather Nelson likes the way her team is playing right now.

"I feel like we've been playing consistent and that's real positive for a young program," said Nelson. "I think the hardest thing with a program as young as ours is that you can really fluctuate in your performance levels."

Cape Girardeau Central product Nichole Thiele, the Otahkians all-time scoring leader, has been the model of consistency. The senior has one goal in each game this season.

Said Thiele, "I want to keep up with what I did last year, score as many goals, if not more. But more importantly we want to keep all our forwards scoring like we've been doing every game. It's not just one of us, it's all of us."

Sophomore forward Valerie Henderson got into the scoring act with a goal late in the first half when her shot attempt deflected off a Central Arkansas defender into the net. Southeast led 1-0 at halftime.

Two goals from freshman Marla Gianino, the first two of her career, wrapped around Thiele's score accounted for the final margin of victory.

Gianino's first goal was unassisted., while Erin Slattery assisted on the second. Erika Todd was credited with the assist on Thiele's shot.

Southeast goalkeeper Beth Guccione, rarely tested, got the shutout with only two saves. It was her fourth shutout of the season.

First-year Central Arkansas coach Tina Conley, whose squad is 0-4, had praise for the Otahkians.

"They're a very good team," said Conley. "Obviously, they're the better team right now, but I thought we played pretty well for where we're at."

Southeast goes on the road to face in-state rival Drury Tuesday in Springfield. The Otahkians, leading 1-0 late in the match, dropped a heartbreaker to Drury last season.

"We let down the last five minutes and they scored two goals to win it," said Nelson. "That's definitely in the back of my mind."

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