Women’s soccer falters against Warhawks

Blugold women’s soccer dig a hole early and can’t climb out against top conference foe

Senior defender Megan Hanson looks to make a pass ahead while attacking during Saturdays game at Bollinger Field against UW-La Crosse.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Senior defender Megan Hanson looks to make a pass ahead while attacking during Saturdays game at Bollinger Field against UW-La Crosse.

Getting the ball into the net has been the achilles heel of the UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team all season head coach Sean Yengo said and a matchup against one of the premiere teams in the conference this past Saturday didn’t help solve the issue.

The Blugolds came into Saturday’s matchup with the Warhawks after losing their previous two games 1-0, and after allowing two goals within the first 10 minutes to Whitewater they weren’t able to mount a comeback, dropping their third straight game 3-0.

The Blugolds were only able to manage five shots all game, getting two in the first half and three in the second, compared to Whitewaters 13, as they were able to dominate possession for most of the first half, Yengo said.

“They really simply were just able to expose us and stretch us defensively early on,” Yengo said. “We put ourselves in some dangerous situations and they were able to capitalize on us.”

The two early goals for the Warhawks came off of mistakes by the Blugolds, Yengo said. Poor clearances by the defense allowed Whitewater to gain possession around the penalty area where they were able to capitalize.

However, after a frantic first ten minutes, Yengo said the Blugolds were able to settle down on both sides of the ball and get their two good looks at the goal once they began to get possession.

Yengo said a big reason for the better play after giving up early goals was the Blugolds patience with the ball on offense, which allowed them to make better passes and execute effectively.

“After we fell behind we were able to hold the ball a little more and challenge them,” Yengo said. “We were more patient and got better looks overall.”

After Eau Claire wasn’t able to notch a goal midway through the second half, Yengo said he changed the on-field system for the Blugolds setting them up for a more attacking style of play.

Despite holding the ball and getting more shots the Blugolds weren’t able to catch the Warhawks off guard, and surrendered the third and final goal late in the half.

Senior Ashley Seymour said they came out sleeping early on and Whitewater was able to take advantage of the mistakes they made. However, after halftime adjustments were made, the Blugolds came out with more fire.

“We just didn’t come out focused right away,” Seymour said. “I think after our halftime talk we started to show some emotions on the field and it looked like we definitely wanted it more.

Seymour said in order for the team to put the losing streak behind themselves, they need to find a way to play their best game for a full 90 minutes.

“We need to figure out how we are going to start playing positive soccer,” she said. “The way we did in the second half, for the whole game and for every game.”

The Blugolds will continue their stretch of road games with a 1 p.m. visit Saturday to Stevens Point.