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Soccer drops game to Macalester

Frank F. Pellegrino

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The women’s soccer team lost their second consecutive game on Tuesday after a 2-0 loss to non-conference opponent Macalester (Minn.).

Although the team was unable to pick up the victory, many players said they were still pleased with how the team performed overall.

“We played really well and started off really well, but just not being able to capitalize on our opportunities definitely hurt us,” sophomore Gina Williams said.

Junior captain Rachel Nerison agreed with Williams’ assessment.

“All of our spirits were high after the game because we knew we played a good game,” Nerison said. “Honestly I feel that that game could have gone either way because it was back and forth the entire game.”

Nerison thought the team came out and played hard to start the game, but they just had trouble finding the back of the net.

Macalester struck first in the 44th minute to grab the lead.

Although Eau Claire has rarely trailed in the first half of games, Nerison didn’t think the team struggled because of it.

“After they scored I think we still played the same game, and if anything, I think the intensity was kicked up a little bit,” Nerison said.

At the break the Blugolds trailed 1-0 and sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Hakala thought the mindset was pretty optimistic.

“We were bummed about the goal, but at the same time we knew that we had come back before in games that we’ve been down and we have won,” Hakala said. “We were pumped up and ready to go, we knew exactly what we had to do.”

Eau Claire started strong to begin the half and was on offense for the first seven minutes after the break. However, Macalester refused to back down and was soon back on the offensive end.

The Macs were eventually able to add to their lead in the 58th minute on a shot from 20 yards out.

The Blugolds pressed the rest of the way but were unable to have any success finding the back of the goal. Macalester held onto their shutout to eventually earn a well-fought 2-0 victory.

Eau Claire’s defense surrendered 15 shots in the game; nearly double their season average of 8.8 shots per game.

Although Hakala was tested more than usual, she definitely didn’t think the defense was to blame.

“It was good that the defense didn’t let the hard shots get through,” Hakala said. “But overall I think that (Macalester is) a very skilled team … so it was just bound to happen that they were able to get some shots.”

After the loss, Eau Claire fell to 11-4-1 overall and has now been winless in their last three matches after a ten-game winning streak. The Blugolds struggled in a similar fashion last season after going on a nine-game winning streak and then winning just two of their final nine games.

Nerison said she wasn’t worried about that happening again, and pointed out that the team had lost two straight games before going on the 10-game streak this season.

“We lost but we played well and I feel that we were happy with the way we played and we’ve just got to step it up from there,” Nerison said. “If we can go on a 10-game winning streak from here that takes us pretty far in
the playoffs.”

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The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Soccer drops game to Macalester