Women’s soccer dominates in WIAC opener

The Blugolds shine over homecoming weekend against UW-Platteville

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The Blugolds found the back of the net early and often to open conference play with a 5-0 win over UW-Platteville.

The UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team took care of business over the weekend, cruising to a 5-0 victory over UW- Platteville.

In their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) opener, the Blugolds gave the homecoming crowd a show with a flurry of early goals.

Emily Sullivan, a sophomore midfielder, came out the gate firing with a goal in the first two minutes of the match. Sullivan would quickly score her second goal of the day in the 14th minute to give the Blugolds an early 2-0 lead.

“The last few games we have been working on completing a strong 90 minute start to finish game and it was great to have that collective team effort to accomplish that,” Sullivan said. “It was also our first conference game and it was important to start it off with a win.”

The Blugolds weren’t done with their early offensive attack just yet.

Hannah Schaetzel, a first-year midfielder, extended the lead to 3-0 at the 18 minute mark with help from Danielle Jensen in the senior’s first assist of the season.

“As a team, we wanted to come out strong and test their defense,” Sullivan said.

The Blugolds did just that.

The scoring barrage didn’t stop there as Mercedes Wilson, a first-year player found the back of the net less than a minute later to push the lead to 4-0.

Hannah Jacobson, a junior defender, tacked on another goal for good measure at the 36 minute mark to give the Blugolds a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the half.

The second half didn’t provide nearly as much action as both teams stalemated to the finish.

To go along with the five goals, the lady Blugolds outshot the Pioneers 31-5 and put 19 shots on goal.

Sammie Lefaive, a senior goalkeeper, recorded the complete-game shutout, recording three saves.

Lefaive said as a goalie, it is easy to stay engaged in high intensity games. In cases like Saturday where the offense is controlling the ball most of the game, she said things can get tricky as she may only get a few balls her way.

To remedy this, Lefaive said she likes to stay on the move and anticipate any through balls or long shots.

“Being caught off guard for one second could result in a costly mistake,” Lefaive said. “Having the pressure of not letting the other team anywhere near the net to score also helps me stay on high alert.”

After a tough start to the season, losing three of their first four, the Blugolds have been on a tear as of late. Eau Claire has outscored opponents 11-1 en route to four straight victories.

“Since it is the start of conference, we do stress the importance of taking one game at a time and not looking too far ahead,” Lefaive said. “Not being focused each game could create costly mistakes, so we like to treat every game like an important game.”

The Blugolds will look to continue their victory streak on Wednesday, Oct. 4 in St. Peter, Minnesota against Gustavus Adolphus College.