Blugolds win at home against Platteville Pioneers

Blugolds win 1-0 against Pioneers

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Will Seward

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Blugolds win at home against Platteville Pioneers

Emily Sullivan, a fourth-year midfielder, dribbling the ball against Augsburg.

Emily Sullivan, a fourth-year midfielder, dribbling the ball against Augsburg.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Emily Sullivan, a fourth-year midfielder, dribbling the ball against Augsburg.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Photo by SUBMITTED

Emily Sullivan, a fourth-year midfielder, dribbling the ball against Augsburg.

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UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer rises to one-and-one in the Western Intercollegiate Athletic Conference conference after beating the UW-Platteville Pioneers 1-0 at home in Bollinger Field. Their goal came unassisted from Tessa Grywalsky, a third-year forward for the Blugolds.

The Blugolds outshot the Pioneers with 16 total shots — eight of them on goal — while keeping the Pioneers from having any shots at all.

“(The) defense did a great stance, the goalkeeper played well,” Sean Yengo, the head coach of the Blugolds said. “And that’s definitely the strength of our team.”

Yengo has lead the team to seven shutout victories this season, five of which came from Anna Sveiven, a third-year goalkeeper, who is currently saving over 90 percent of shots on goal.

The team has also outscored opponents 30-9 this season while outshooting them 179 to 162.

“We’re all on the same page,” Sveiven said. “We’re also a very close-knit group.”

Sveiven explained that during the preseason, the team emphasized that there are no cliques or groupings of grades or class. The team operates and communicates as a whole, with first-year athletes having equal opportunity and comfort as fourth-year athletes.

Sveiven believes it is this ability that allows the team to communicate and fix problems on the field as they arise.

“We’re going to try and keep (opponents) on their toes and giving them problems to solve,” Yengo said. “Patience and possession tends to wear (opponents) down.”

While the Blugolds feel comfortable solving problems, Yengo said a huge part of their success is credited to creating problems for opposing teams.

“This year we have 15 different people on our team who have scored a goal,” Yengo said. “(We have) multiple weapons, multiple people who can score. It’s not any one person carrying the weight of the load, which is difficult for other teams to plan for.”

The day after the game against the Pioneers, the Blugolds also played against the out-of-conference Ripon Red Hawks, winning 6-1 at home in Bollinger Field, with all six goals being scored by different players.

Looking at the game against River Falls, who is one half-game behind Eau Claire in the conference, Yengo said he noticed they are a counter-attacking team, focusing on turnovers and scoring during the transition.

The Blugolds plan on going back to their basics, which Yengo explained will require patience, careful shot selection and attentiveness in the backfield.

Sveiven is particularly excited to play against the Falcons, remembering how the game went last year.

“Last year we played them, it was a super intense game,” Sveiven said. “I’m so ready for my year to play (against the Falcons) and I want to take them down.”

Last year, Sammie Lefaive — the former goalkeeper and current alumni of Eau Claire — was the goalie against River Falls where they won 3-2 in overtime.

The Blugolds look forward to playing against the Falcons at home Wednesday night before going on the road to play against UW-Oshkosh on Saturday.

Seward can be reached at [email protected]

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