Women’s soccer hosts Oral Roberts on Senior Day

Bradley Piros , Sports Editor


MACOMB, Ill. – The Western Illinois University women’s soccer team (6-9-1) will play their last home game of the year this Sunday against Summit League foe Oral Roberts University. The last home game of the season also means that it will be Senior Day for Western.

It will be the last time playing at home for six Leathernecks: defenders Kayla McCormick, Madison Bulin, Maddie Wilsey and Natalie Sielaff, forward Emily Bollman and goalkeeper Ines Palmiero Herrera.

Let’s start with the defenders. First up is McCormick, the accounting major from Morton, Ill. Her freshman year, she appeared in all 17 matches and started 15 of them. After taking a year off, she recorded 1,609 minutes and started 18 games in her junior year. This year it’s been a tough fight for playing time in the defense, so she’s only appeared in one game.

Next is Bulin, the microbiology major from Eldridge, Iowa. She transferred to Western her junior year and started seven games for the Leathernecks, recording 747 minutes along the way. This season she’s made 15 appearances and logged 365 minutes.

That brings up Wilsey, the engineering major from Saint Johns, Mich. Her freshman year, she appeared in all 17 matches and logged 472 minutes. The following year she started every game of the season and logged 1582 minutes. Her junior year she redshirted due to injury. Last season she started seven games and recorded 580 minutes. After slowly coming back from injury last year, she healthy now and has started 15 out of the 16 matches she’s been in. She’s logged 1135 minutes so far this season and recorded four shots.

The last defender Western has to say goodbye to is Sielaff. The Plainfield, Ill. native redshirted her freshman year and then came in and appeared in 15 games and logged 1071 minutes. Her sophomore year she made 17 starts, all in the defense, and totaled 1475 minutes while last year she only made 11 started and tallied 1114 minutes, also recording two shots along the way. This year she has appeared in 16 matches and started 10 of them, which is good for 1167 minutes. So far this season she’s recorded 10 shots.

Next up is the forward from Coal Valley, Ill. She exploded onto the scene in her freshman year. She logged 989 minutes and had two goals on the year. Coincidentally, both those goals were game winners. She also recorded 19 (10 SOG) on her way to notching a Summit League Offensive Player of the Week honor. Her sophomore year, she played in all 17 matches with nine starts. She scored three goals and assisted another. One of those goals was yet another game winner. She recorded only 754 minutes but still rattled off 19 shots again (nine SOG). Last year she started 11 games and had a career high four goals and two assists through 719 minutes. This season she’s started nine games out of the 16 she’s appeared in. She has an assist on the year and has taken 18 shots (five SOG).

Last but certainly not least is the goalkeeper, Palmiero Herrera from Viladecavalls, Spain. Her freshman year, she started five games and recorded 22 saves. Her sophomore year she had 13 starts and recorded 62 saves. She also had her first collegiate clean sheet which helped her notch her first Summit League Defensive Player of the Week honor. Last season she had 93 saves and had a career high nine saves against Milwaukee on the back on Sept. 7. She also started all 18 games for the Leathernecks. This year she’s started all 16 matches so far and recorded 75 saves. She also climbed to fourth all-time in career saves for the Western Illinois women’s soccer program. She helped her team record three straight shutouts on her way to obtaining her second Summit League Defensive Player of the Week honor this season and isn’t done yet.

All six seniors will surely be missed, but Western still has a game to play. The last time these two teams met was back on Sept. 29, 2017. Western traveled to Tulsa, Okla. and were handed a 3-0 loss from ORU. This time around, Western has the home field advantage.

Western currently sits sixth in The Summit League standings with six points. Ahead of them are Omaha with six points, NDSU with eight points, North Dakota with nine points, Denver with 10 points and in the first place, SDSU with 15 points, a perfect 5-0 conference record.

Only the top four teams make The Summit League Tournament. Western will have to win both of their remaining games and get a little help from others. NDSU and Omaha will have to lose at least one game each for Western to have a chance. The Leathernecks also have ORU hot on their trail in seventh with five points.

It’s a crucial conference matchup and Senior Day. It’s shaping up to be a dramatic contest. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. Sunday on John Mackenzie Alumni Field.

twitter: @bradjp08