Alese Woolard enters her fifth season at the helm of the MSSU women's soccer program after serving four years as an assistant coach on former head coach Trevor Wachsman's staff from 2006-2009.
The 2013 campaign saw the Lions beat both of the top finishers in the MIAA, 2-1 over then 11th ranked Central Missouri and 2-0 over second place Northeastern State. Woolard would add three more All-Conferece performers in Dana Wilhelm (Third Team), Tiffany Laughlin (Honorable Mention) and sophomore Karley Thomas (Honorable Mention).
In Woolard's third season, the Lions would get off to a slow start (0-5-1), but Southern would rebound winning three of their next four games defeating Fort Hays State 2-1, and MIAA newcomers Nebraska-Kearney 3-0 and Lindenwood 6-3. Finishing the year with a 5-10-3 overall record, the Lions would qualify for their second consecutive MIAA Post-Season tournament thanks to a 1-0 win in double overtime at Northwest Missouri. Four Lions would earn All-MIAA honors including senior forward Megan Stueve who would finish her career putting together one of the top individual seasons in MSSU soccer program history finishing the year with a MIAA league-leading 13 goals and 27 points, while ranking third in the conference with 59 shots, including 31 on goal. Senior midfielder Candis Clark, senior defender Cortney Sanders and junior forward Tiffany Laughlin were also named All-MIAA honorable mention.
The 2011 season would see the Lions start 0-7-1 before
they would tie a school record with five straight wins. In that
stretch Southern defeated Emporia State 2-1, conference rival
Southwest Baptsist 2-1 (2OT), Fort Hays State 2-1 (OT), Washburn
2-0, and Missouri Western 2-0. The win over Washburn marked
the second straight year that the Lions have won in Topeka against
the Ichabods. Southern would then win another four straight
as the Lions would make their first appearance in the MIAA
Post-Season tournament as the number three seed. The Lions would
face sixth-seeded SBU and win in the first round 1-0 and go on to
play second-seeded Truman in the semi-finals. The Lions would
use a goal in the final seconds to tie the Bulldogs at 1-1 to force
overtime and then defeat Truman 2-1 in OT and advance to play
Central Missouri for the tournament championship where they would
fall 3-1 but finish the season on a 9-3 stretch to finish with a
9-10-1 overall record.
In her first year at the helm in 2010, Woolard led the Lions to a 5-8-5 overall record and tied the school record for ties in the season with five as well as setting a school conference record with the five draws. The 2010 season also saw three streaks broken. The Lions scored four goals in a game for the first time with a 4-1 defeat of Emporia State since a 5-1 defeat of ESU on Oct. 2, 2008 and the 2010 season also saw the winless streak at Washburn University get snapped as the Lions won 2-0. Their last win in Topeka, Kan. was on Sept. 10, 2004, a 1-0 OT win. The final streak broken was a seven year winless draught in Maryville, Mo. as the Lions defeated the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 2-1 on Oct. 2.
Prior to her coaching stint, Woolard enjoyed a solid two-year playing career under former head coach Trevor Wachsman. Woolard made 14 starts in the net for the Lions and held the opposition scoreless for the final 227 minutes of the 2004 campaign. She recorded 77 saves and three shutouts in her two years at Southern.
Woolard also was a four-year softball athlete and was a finalist for the 2004-05 MSSU Female Athlete of the Year.
In 2005 Woolard had one of the most productive seasons offensively in Lions history leading the team in batting average (.351), runs (40), hits (61), doubles (9), triples (3), home runs (9), RBIs (37), slugging percentage (.592), and on base percentage (.392). Her nine home runs in that season is still a single-season record for Southern.
Woolard also holds a NSCAA State and Regional Goalkeeping Diploma, as well as an NSCAA Advanced Regional diploma.
Woolard graduated from Southern in 2005 and holds a Master of Education in Workforce Development Education with an emphasis in Adult Education from the University of Arkansas.