Soccer team continues strong season

The undefeated streak continued this weekend for the UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team. After a long weekend of travel, two hard fought victories were ultimately the result.

The first win came against conference rival UW-La Crosse on Saturday afternoon. The Blugolds got off to a very slow start and failed to score in the first half for just the third time this season.

“The first half was probably one of the worst 45 minutes of soccer we have ever played,” senior Amy Smith said.

Eau Claire continued working hard even after struggling and was eventually able to get on the board with a goal by senior Liz Kooistra. The goal in the 67th minute marked the longest amount of time in any game this season it took the Blugolds to score their first goal.

With less than two minutes to go, Nerison was able to get Eau Claire some insurance when she scored her second goal of the game. The goal increased the lead to two, and left the game at its final score of 2-0.

“She (Nerison) never gave up,” junior Sam Krueger said. “She worked her butt off and she really got in there and put them in when we needed it.”

Senior goalkeeper Allie Rivard was able to help the cause by adding her fifth shutout of the season.

On Sunday, Eau Claire hoped to bounce back against Loras College (Iowa) after a difficult start to their previous game.

“A big goal of ours was to come out hard and fast and strong,” Rivard said. “We really wanted to push the tempo of the game.”

While applying strong pressure in the 25th minute the Blugolds were able to score first as Loras put in an own goal. The early momentum was all Eau Claire needed to be able to handle their opponent.

“Towards the end of the half we really picked it up,” Smith said. “After the half we never stopped fighting and really just wanted to put them away.”

The first Blugold able to find the net was senior Jessica Millard who increased the lead to two. The goal came in the 67th minute and was assisted by sophomore Gina Christenbury.

Just five minutes later, Eau Claire was able to add to their lead again as sophomore Jamie Schiesel scored her fourth goal of the season. The score remained the same as the Blugolds marched on to a 3-0 victory and improved to 9-0-2 on the season.

In a game where Eau Claire out shot their opponent 19-5, Rivard was able to keep her focus and record her second straight shutout. Games that primarily have one team on offense the entire time can be difficult for the goalkeeper whose team is on offense. Rivard had no trouble staying on task, and showed great team leadership.

“She’s (Rivard) been really stepping it up this year and taking on a big leadership role with the team,” Krueger said. “She’s just been doing outstanding this year and everyone is really proud of her.”

Next up for the Blugolds is an away game on Wednesday Oct. 1 against Macalester College (Minn.).