Blugold soccer beat St. Mary’s, prepares for St. Benedict

The good season of the Eau Claire women’s soccer team continued at Bollinger Field yesterday, as the Blugolds dominated St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Even though the game ended 1-0, the score was no indication as to how the game was actually played.

The Blugolds outshot the Cardinals 34-4 in the game, and would have had a more comfortable win if not for the efforts of Colleen O’Hearn, the All-American goaltender for St. Mary’s.

“We knew coming in that she was a good goalie,” coach Sean Yengo said. “I was pleased with the shot selection, especially in the second half.”

Eau Claire dominated possession in the game, not allowing St. Mary’s very many quality scoring chances.

This was the third straight game where the Blugolds have had plenty of scoring chances but have had trouble putting the ball in the net.

“If we get 34 shots every game I’d be very happy,” Yengo said. “(O’Hearn) is so great in the air. I told the players to try to walk it in more, and try to shoot it in the lower corners.”

Junior Jullia Powell agreed that O’Hearn played very well.

“We were trying a lot of different things,” she said. “We were trying to keep it low.”

Freshman forward Megan Oswall got the only goal of the game at 51:39 mark, scoring into an empty net after senior Erika Thompson lofted a ball over the attacking O’Hearn.

“It was a nice win,” Thompson said,”though we were hoping to get a few more goals. But, a win is a win.”

Thompson agreed that it was a little frustrating not being able to get on the scoreboard.

“It’s nice to be able to get all those shots,” she said. “We just need to get it into the net. I’m so used to having my goals go in, that it’s been a little hard.”

Freshman Erin Leschensky had four saves in net for Eau Claire, which improved to 4-0-1 on the season. St. Mary’s dropped to a mark of 1-2-1.

The Blugolds will have one day’s rest before getting ready for their next challenge.

The St. Benedict Blazers, the Golds’ next opponent, are ranked fourth in collegesoccer.com’s central regional rankings, while the Blugolds are ranked sixth.

“They’re a very good team,” Yengo said. “We played them here last year, and it was a great game.”

Thompson said that the team usually gets pumped up against St. Benedict.

“It’s always a big game,” she said. “We haven’t beaten them in a while, so hopefully we can get them this time. We’re looking forward to it.”

St. Benedict won last year’s game against Eau Claire 1-0, and should prove a formidable foe.

Their record this year sits at 3-1, with their only loss being a 4-2 defeat to top-ranked UW-Stevens Point.

Yengo stressed that the Blugolds cannot worry about low scores.

“The more frustrated we get, the harder it gets to score,” he said. “We’ll get there eventually.”

Thompson agreed, saying that the team has to remain patient.

“It takes time, and we’re still working on it,” she said. “We can’t get too frustrated, because that will only make it harder.

After the game against St. Benedict, the Blugolds return home to take on Carroll College. That game will take place at 2 p.m. on Sunday.