EDWARDSVILLE, ILL. -- A smile comes to the face of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville women's soccer coach Lynda Bowers when you mention her team tying the school-record for wins in a season.
Not only has Bowers coached the team that has tied the record, she also played on the team in 1996 that set the mark of 16.
"It is such a bigger accomplishment as a coach," said Bowers. "You really have to have the players believe in your style. I played on the team that set the record and now I am coaching the team that has just tied that. It is a great feeling."
The 24th-ranked Cougars, 16-4 overall, take on UW-Parkside this Friday in the semifinals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament at 7:30 p.m. in Wilder, Ky.
Second-seeded SIUE fell to the No. 3-seed Rangers 3-0 earlier this season at Korte Stadium.
"It is definitely one of those games that we feel like we need a little bit of redemption," said Bowers. "If we can get by the semifinal match, we can almost clinch a berth in the NCAA's. The game has a lot of implications."
The Cougars claimed a 1-0 victory over Indianapolis in the quarterfinals Sunday. The shutout was SIUE's 11th on the season, tying a school record set last season.
"Our girls played so well," said Bowers. "If you look at the shots (18-2), I felt like we were very dangerous the whole game. Our team played with a lot of poise and confidence."
Elizabeth Valenti (Overland Park, Kan.) netted the game-winning goal for her second of the season.
"It is great for her confidence too," said Bowers. "She hurt her knee in the last Indy game. She is just a tremendous player."
Junior Kristine Armstrong (St. Peters, Mo.) is tied for second in the GLVC and leads the team with 12 goals. She now is tied for eighth all-time in SIUE history with 26 goals, and ranks ninth in school history with 62 points.