Soccer still winless after draw

The women’s soccer team couldn’t capitalize on a quick start against the College of Saint Benedict (Minn.) Saturday afternoon at Bollinger Field, finishing with a 1-1 tie in a tough, physical home opener.

In addition to regulation, two overtime periods came and went without the two squads determining a winner.

Despite the early goal, the Blugold offense was once again unable to capitalize on many scoring opportunities. Head coach Sean Yengo said that may be due more to the quality of competition than poor play.

“I think the tie was a positive step in the right direction,” Yengo said. “The team is working hard to get that ‘W’ and will continue to. I’m happy with our style. Our players just need to read the game better. We fell apart in the second half because we weren’t reading the game.”

Saint Benedict spent the majority of the first half trying to find their offense.The Lady Blugolds took advantage minutes into the game when junior Allie Stone’s header found the back of the net for the team’s first goal of the season.

Junior Hannah Rademacher thinks the offensive drought is finally over for good.

“Finally, scoring is definitely a highlight,” Rademacher said. “We started calming down in this game. In New York, we were frantic in games a lot of the time, so we played more comfortable today. We think that now one is scored, a lot more will come.”

The script flipped after the break, however, as Saint Benedict came out firing. Eau Claire had trouble maintaining possession from the start and before long, freshman Alyssa Hoffman knotted things at 1. The change in momentum can be credited in part to the way Saint

Benedict kicked their toughness up a notch after the break.

“It was a rough game,” Rademacher said. “We got tossed around a little bit out there, but we tried to fight back. I don’t think we’re used to playing in such a physical game yet.”

The team showed growth in their tie with Saint Benedict though. Rademacher said one explanation of the slow start offensively is simply lack of experience.

“We just need to start putting the ball away and figure out how to play a full 90 minute game instead of one good half,” Rademacher said. “Our defense is really coming together. Finishing is really what’s missing. With so many freshmen starters, it’s really important to work on team chemistry.”

Yengo agreed that his young team just needs to log more game time to help get their feet wet and build some confidence.

“We’ve played very good teams,” Yengo said. “It’s been a very tough schedule. We’re creating good opportunities and have been in goal scoring position, but it comes down to making that good pass. Finishing is one of the hardest parts of the game.”

The Blugolds will continue to look for their first win and begin their quest for a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title on Wednesday when they host UW-Stout.