Soccer nets two wins

Janie Boschma

The ‘Golds retained their luster over the weekend, but it wasn’t easy.

One day after shutting out UW-Platteville 7-0 at Bollinger Fields, the UW-Eau Claire soccer team was forced to come from behind to claim a 2-1 win Sunday over the University of St. Thomas.

“Obviously, it’s nice to be able to get the win, to come back from being down a goal and getting the victory,” coach Sean Yengo said following Sunday’s game. “There’s nothing easy about being down a goal, but this team’s been down before, and they know how to fight back.”

Eau Claire came into Sunday’s game against the Tommies fresh off a convincing shutout against Platteville the day before, but had trouble scoring against the tougher St. Thomas defense.

In fact, Eau Claire didn’t score until about 20 minutes into the second half, when freshman Jamie Schiesel’s kick rebounded off the crossbar and into the net, evening the score at 1-1.

The game seemed destined to go into overtime, as both teams remained neck and neck for the remainder of the half. However, Eau Claire took advantage of a St. Thomas misstep late in the second half to put the game away.

With less than five minutes remaining in the game, St. Thomas’ goalkeeper fell over one of her teammates and dropped the ball in front of the Tommies’ goal. Junior Liz Kooistra took advantage of the fumble and sent the ball sailing into the undefended net.

“Our coach always tell us, ‘Good teams find a way to win,'” senior Anna Talbot said, “and when you’re not playing well you have to really push it and somehow we put a goal in at the end of the game and that’s all we could ask for.”

Eau Claire’s win over Platteville was a little less harrowing, with the Blugolds cruising to an easy 7-0 finish against the WIAC opponent.

But just as impressive Saturday was the Blugolds’ defense; Eau Claire put up 28 shots during the game, but allowed the Pioneers to get off only one shot.

“It’s good to get back in the groove. We haven’t been playing as well together,” freshman Kori Butendorf said Saturday, referring to the team’s recent struggles against Wheaton College (Ill.) and UW-Oshkosh. “This just really showed what Blugold soccer is again.”