Women’s soccer falls in WIAC tournament semifinals

UWEC women’s soccer enters WIAC tournament for the 2023-24 season
Elise Pinewski, third-year student, kicking the ball from UW-Platteville. (Photo by Bill Hoepner, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)
Elise Pinewski, third-year student, kicking the ball from UW-Platteville. (Photo by Bill Hoepner, used with permission from Blugold Athletics)

On Oct. 31, 2023, the UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team entered the first round of the WIAC, defeating UW-Whitewater, advancing them to the semifinals.

The game ended with a tied score of 3-3, but the Blugolds took the victory by winning the shootout against UW-Whitewater.

The Blugolds had then advanced to the semifinals where they ultimately fell against UW-Platteville.

The game ended with a final score of 1-2.

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Kennedy Boll, a third-year goalkeeper, said that the game had gone well, and she was proud of what the team had accomplished.

“I think we had the drive and the want, our coach always emphasizes the ‘will to win’ in the tournament,” Boll said. “It definitely helped us push through the quarter-final game.”

Sophie Hubbard, a fourth-year midfielder, said that she thought that the team’s ability to bounce back was part of why their games had gone well.

“I thought that we were able to bounce back really well,” Hubbard said. “After the first game, we didn’t play super well, it wasn’t our best game, but the second game we played Blugold soccer again and played how we wanted to.”

Hubbard said one thing the team needed to improve on was their time management. 

“We were winning 3-1 with ten minutes left in the first game, so we need to learn how to time manage better,” Hubbard said. “Learn how to close out of a game and play with a lead.”

Boll said the team needed to work on holding their leads better.

“We get the lead and can put the ball in the back of the net,” Boll said. “But we tend to lose it sometimes. So, just making sure even when we are up on a team, we need to keep putting pressure and keeping that ‘pounce’ mentality.” 

Boll said one of her favorite moments of the season was to be at the winning game that had marked Yengo’s 300 wins.

“My favorite part of the season was when our coach hit 300 wins,” Boll said. “I think it just showed the big picture of what he does for the program. Being there for that, and seeing him get emotional throughout that helped show all the work we put in mattered to him.”

Head coach Sean Yengo said that some of his proudest moments with the team were when this was a record season for them and when they beat Wartburg College, whom they had never won against before.

“We came up 10-5-4, which is a record, and we were third in the conference,” Yengo said. “Our win against Wartburg, first time in history, that was a big win.”

Hubbard said her favorite moment of the season was when they were up against Saint Benedict, and took the lead with a minute left in the half.

“One thing that comes to mind is the Saint Benz game,” Hubbard said. “We were winning, then losing and then tied but we were able to win with just a minute left of the game.”

Yengo said one thing he is going to miss next season was the seniors but was rooting for them.

“You can’t replace seniors,” Yengo said. “They are the bloodline to your program and I wish them all well.”

As this is Hubbard’s last year, she said one thing she is going to miss most is her team.

“Now that it’s done, I don’t remember the wins or the losses,” Hubbard said. “I just remember the moments with my team, the bus rides and the preseason. I’m going to miss just being with them.”


Boggess can be reached at [email protected].

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