Women’s soccer on Point against Pointers

UW-Eau Claire comes up big on Alumni Weekend

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As if back-to-back 1-0 losses at home weren’t enough reasons to be motivated to get a victory, the UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team had a multitude of former players on hand watching for Alumni Weekend.

 The Blugolds got exactly what they were looking for in convincing fashion with a 4-0 win over conference rival UW-Stevens Point on Saturday at Bollinger Field.

 Junior Tara Dennehy continued her breakout season and got the scoring started when she booted one past the Stevens Point goalie less than eight minutes into the game.

 “I don’t really remember it that well,” said Dennehy of her goal in the first half.  “Hendy (Caroline Henderson) had a super nice cross to me; I just touched it with my left foot and shot it.”

 Sean Yengo, who is in his 18th season as head coach of the Blugolds, said it took him nine years to beat Steven’s Point for the first time.

 “Every time we play them it’s a game that you enjoy winning,” Yengo said.  “And we had our alums here, and they were pretty excited to see a four to zero victory against Steven’s Point.”

 The Blugolds have now trumped the Pointers in four of their last six matchups.

 Henderson followed her assist to Dennehy with a goal herself to open up the second half.  From then on it was all Blugolds, getting goals from freshman Sami Matuszak and sophomore Jocelyn Etten to put the dagger in the Pointers.

 “It’s a really big win for us because we haven’t been doing that well,” Dennehy said.  “We definitely needed a win if we were going to make it into the playoffs.”

 After losing 1-0 to conference leader UW-Whitewater and 1-0 to an overtime goal from Luther College in the Blugolds’ past two games, Yengo knew his team was one step away from putting together a win.

 “We’ve been getting in good spots the last couple weeks; it’s just been about not getting that last pass or being composed, and that’s what it takes,”  Yengo said.  “You just have to relax and be great when greatness is needed.”

 Eau Claire took 15 shots, 11 of them on goal.  Sophomore goalie Rachel Griffiths saved three shots in her first career shutout and first career victory. Her record on the season is now 1-2-0.

 The win brings Eau Claire’s record to 4-8-1 and 2-2-0 in conference play.  They now sit at fourth in the WIAC standings, but that can easily change for better or worse with four conference games remaining.

 Up next for Eau Claire is a matchup with UW-Oshkosh, who is 3-0 in conference play so far.  The game will be a home game next Saturday, Oct. 18 2:00pm at Bollinger Field.

 “Oshkosh will be a little bit stronger than Steven’s Point for sure,” Yengo said. “But it’s just another opportunity to get three points on the table against a conference team.”

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