Blugolds land victory against Blue Devils

UW-Eau Claire Blugolds won 1-0 against UW-Stout Blue Devils in the final game of the regular season

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Photo by Emilee Wentland

Senior middle Jocelyn Etten kicks the ball at Bollinger Fields.

The UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team earned the third seed in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) after their win Saturday afternoon.

The Blugolds defeated the UW-Stout Blue Devils 1-0 in the “Battle of the Blues” on Saturday at Bollinger Fields.

With just over 10 minutes left in the game, senior forward Caroline Henderson scored what would be the only goal of the game with an assist from freshman midfielder Bailee Hyde at the 79th minute. The goal was Henderson’s eighth of the season.

Sammie Lefaive, a junior goalie, saved three goals in the first half for Eau Claire, bringing her total number of saves for the season up to 83.

The Blugolds shot on goal 15 times overall, and 11 of those times were in the second half. Eau Claire’s 15 shots tripled the amount of shots that the Blue Devils attempted.

Freshman midfielder Emily Sullivan, who shot four times on Saturday, said the second half of the game demonstrated the team’s athletic ability.

“In the second half we definitely dominated more,” Sullivan said. “We used our flanks really well. We tried to get the ball into the box and we capitalized on it.”

Bailee Hyde, a freshman midfielder who made her second assist of the season on Saturday, said that the game showed how much effort the team was willing to put in so that they would play well against the Blue Devils.

The game also served as a tribute to the seniors on the team as they celebrated the annual “Senior Day.”  The announcer recited words of encouragement that head coach Sean Yengo had for the team’s three seniors before their last regular season game.

While the Blugolds lost the first two games of the regular season, they came back to win seven games out of the 17 that they played.

The Blugolds scored 18 goals throughout their 2016 season — eight of which were within the conference — and averaged just over one goal per game.

Eau Claire’s third seed ranking out of six in the WIAC, proves that the women’s soccer team knows how to make a comeback. The loss of the first few games didn’t discourage the team from competing hard and earning the third seed title.

When Hyde reflects on the team’s season so far, she said that even though the team lacks upperclassmen it doesn’t mean the team doesn’t have the ability to win.

“I think the season went really well overall, considering we only had three seniors and we’re a really young team,” Hyde said. “I think that we have a lot of talent and it reflects in our record.”

The Blugolds’ conference record is 4-2-1 and their overall record for the season was 7-8-2.

The women’s soccer team will face UW-River Falls, ranked sixth in the WIAC, at home Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. If they win that game, they’ll play against UW-Lacrosse in Lacrosse on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m.