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Saint Louis Athletica Win 4-0 In First Exhibition Against Illinois

Posted on March 15, 2010 by Todd Civin
Shannon Boxx

Saint Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer, WPS, opened their 2010 exhibition schedule with a 4-0 win over the University of Illinois Women’s team on Saturday. Kristina Larsen, Eniola Aluko, Madelaine Edlund, and Shannon Boxx all tallied goals for Saint Louis.

For Coach Jorge Barcellos the game was a chance to see a lot of his new players and his new midfielder, Boxx, especially impressed him.

“She was unbelievable,” exclaimed Barcellos. “To have a player with this type of confidence in the field, and to control the game as she did, is incredible. She raises the level of the game, she helps us keep possession of the ball, and she orchestrates where every player should be. Just incredible.”

Boxx, who was the first selection in the WPS Dispersal Draft of the Los Angeles Sol, clearly was in regular season form throughout the match on Saturday as she controlled the tempo of the game while keeping Saint Louis in possession for the majority of the game.

Boxx also led multiple charges forwards, and finished off a chance herself with a goal midway through the second half. Her first outing with Athletica looked less like a first match with a new team, and more like a return to a team she had been with for years.

“It felt really good,” explained Boxx. “We are definitely trying some new systems and I am still learning everyone’s name, but the energy was good and the team worked really hard,”

Boxx continued, “The mentality that I have seen on this team shows you this club has heart and will fight. This team will get in and get themselves dirty. We will win balls, battle, and then go forward with the talent we have.”

Another standout from Saturday was second round draft choice Kristina Larsen. Larsen netted a goal in just the eighth minute as she forced a turnover and then slotted her chance home for a quick 2-0 lead.

Larsen also showed she was more than game to go in for challenges and win balls. Her performance was a ‘nice surprise’ 612526for Barcellos, and Shannon Boxx noted her tenacity.

“My nerves were going at first,” said the UCLA product. “Coach Barcellos had us pumped up right before the game. It felt really good and it was a different experience, but I settled down into the game and was able to get comfortable.”

Saint Louis Athletica will be in action this Saturday, March 20, at the University of Missouri when they face the Missouri Women’s team for their second exhibition match of the spring.

About Saint Louis Athletica
Saint Louis Athletica is a founding member of Women’s Professional Soccer, WPS. In their inaugural season Saint Louis Athletica finished in second place in the WPS, and reached the WPS Super Semifinal. Saint Louis Athletica plays their home matches at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in suburban St. Louis.

The 2010 home opener will be on April 11 against FC Gold Pride. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-888-STL-GOAL. Follow Athletica on Facebook.

About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)

Headquartered in San Francisco, Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the world’s premier soccer league for women with eight teams across the United States featuring the best players from around the world.

In 2010, eight teams will each play 24-game schedules from April 10-September 12 including six original WPS teams – Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Gold Pride (Bay Area), Saint Louis Athletica, Sky Blue FC (NJ/NY) and Washington Freedom – and two expansion teams Atlanta Beat and Philadelphia Independence. The top four finishers in the regular season will qualify for the 2010 WPS Playoffs scheduled for September 19-26. For more information, visit the WPS official website or follow all the news at

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