The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Women’s lacrosse clinch WIAC Tournament spot

Blugolds win over Southwestern in final regular season match
Photo by Toby Mohr
UW-Eau Claire’s women’s lacrosse celebrates after Friday’s win.

A dreary, rainy day didn’t stop the Blugolds from shining in a 19-7 win over Southwestern to secure a spot in the first WIAC women’s lacrosse tournament.

The women’s lacrosse team faced off with Southwestern University from Texas on Friday, April 26, in the final match of the regular season. The Blugolds came out strong, taking the lead and scoring seven goals in the first quarter, with two goals coming off the stick of second-year Devon Crews. The Blugolds finished the first quarter with a 7-4 lead.

Then it was the Blugold defense taking control, holding the Pirates to one goal in the second quarter and keeping them scoreless in the third. First-year Paige Kiani scored three consecutive goals in the second quarter and the Blugolds led 11-5 at the half.

No. 6 Annika Melander defends the sideline. (Photo by Toby Mohr)

UW-Eau Claire kept up the scoring in the second half, netting two goals in the third quarter and six in the fourth, with second-year Reegan Werner scoring three times and first-year Victoria Shea scoring twice in the second half.

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With under two minutes left in the fourth quarter, third-year Samantha Burns found the goal for the second time of the day to score her 100th career goal and finish off the team’s 19-7 victory.

No. 2 Samantha Burns looks for an open shot. (Photo by Toby Mohr)

“I’m just so happy I can experience this with my teammates,” Burns said after the win. “On and off the field we are always pushing each other to do the best.”

Head coach Michael Rhodovi said the win was an all-around effort, with the offense and defense playing together.

“They communicated the entire time, they made very few mistakes,” Rhodovi said. “The defense really stood out. The ladies kept their composure all game.”

Burns said they were focused on keeping the energy up to add goals to the lead.

“The communication was huge with keeping the goals coming,” she said. “Once we get one goal we keep them coming and never back down.”

The Blugolds offense spread the ball around, with eight different players tallying goals in the win. Now the Blugolds look ahead to the WIAC tournament, where they hold the No. 4 seed and will play against No. 1 seed Colorado College.

Rhodovi said he is looking to see the Blugolds “create a second identity” in the postseason.

“You can’t be a one-trick pony, you have to have multiple dimensions so we started changing some things,” he said. “Hoping we surprise some people.”

No matter who they meet in the tournament, Burns said the Blugolds are ready to take them on.

“It’s definitely going to be a team that we have played and have lost to, but I know any team that we play we can beat,” Burns said.

The WIAC tournament semifinals are Friday, May 3 in River Falls. The Blugolds are set to play Colorado College at 5 p.m. and the winner will play either UW-La Crosse or UW-River Falls on Saturday, May 4.

Mohr can be reached at [email protected]

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