BELLEVILLE — Losing doesn't sit well with Southwestern Illinois College women's soccer coach Chad Lignoul.
One of the most successful coaches in Region 24 with a career mark of 144-70-7 in his 11 years at the helm, Lignoul's Blue Storm suffered through just its second losing season -- 7-10-1 -- in 2013.
The Granite City native didn't waste much time in making certain history doesn't repeat itself in 2014.
"We lost to Lewis and Clark (College) in the region tournament on a Friday and on Monday I was recruiting. You know me. You know how much I dislike losing,'' Lignoul said. "It was a tough year. But we played better coming down the stretch and we won our first playoff game.
"It just wasn't what we had hoped the season would be.''
Out to land the top talent in the St. Louis-area, Lignoul may have hit the jackpot with the signings of defensive specialist Brooke Blasingame of Collinsville and high-scoring Alyssa Houck of Freeburg.
One of the top defensive players in the area a year ago, Blasingame attended Missouri State during the 2013 fall semester.
"Brooke was a player we recruited during her senior year, but it was fairly common knowledge that she was going to go to a (NCAA) Division I school,'' Lignoul said. "She is just a flat-out lockdown defender, which is something we need for the upcoming season.
"She's smart, fast and physical. She's everything you look for in a defensive player.''
On the other side is Houck, who as a junior led the metro-east in scoring a year ago with 26 goals, 12 assists and 64 points.
Lightning-quick with the ability to create and put the ball in the back of the net, Houck reminds Lignoul somewhat of another outstanding Blue Storm player in former two-time all-American Alexis Trybinski.
"I don't want to get crazy here because Alexis (Trybinski) was a great player with great speed who could go by people and put the ball in the back of the net,'' Lignoul said. "But speed-wise, Alyssa is probably the closest we've had to Alexis.
"Alyssa has a very strong soccer background and she has the ability to put the ball in the back of the net. We're looking for her to come in and do that for us.''