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

    Soccer three-time champions of WIAC

    The ‘Golds have done it again.

    The women’s soccer team beat second-ranked UW-Stevens Point Saturday to win the WIAC Championship for the third straight year, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

    “It feels so sweet,” senior Anna Talbot said. “It doesn’t get old by any means, it’s more exciting than it has ever been in the past.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    Junior goalie Allie Rivard agreed.

    “It gets better every year,” she said.

    The Blugolds hosted the weekend’s tournament and beat fourth-seed UW-La Crosse 5-1 on Friday morning to play the winner of the afternoon game between Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater.

    The Blugolds took an early lead Friday and didn’t let up. Goals by freshman Gina Christenbury and junior Jessica Millard, both assisted by Talbot, gave the women a 2-0 lead early in the first half. The Eagles scored their one and only goal at the 18:31 mark. From then on, the Blugolds dominated the field, scoring another three goals in the second half, outshooting the Eagles 25-7 overall.

    Coach Sean Yengo said watching the outcome of Friday afternoon’s game determined Eau Claire’s strategy for Saturday.

    Saturday’s game proved to be a much bigger challenge, remaining scoreless well into the second half. “Intense” was the one word Yengo used to describe it. Both teams took control of the field on several occasions.

    “Our biggest strategy was . to keep them at bay,” Yengo said.

    Talbot said the team knew they needed to step it up in the second half.

    “Today it wasn’t necessarily the prettiest game of soccer . there wasn’t a lot of beautiful passing . but there was enough heart for us to (win),” Talbot said.

    A second half goal by freshman Haelee Maurer that was nullified by an offsides penalty pumped up the Blugolds. Freshman Jamie Schiesel scored the one and only goal of the game minutes later.

    “I think the mere fact that we scored . gave us confidence and . set Stevens Point back on their heels and you could see they were not as composed, whereas we had greater determination,” assistant coach Kimamo Wahome said. “And sure enough, the winning goal did not come long after that.”

    Schiesel scored Eau Claire’s solo goal at the 75:39 mark off an assist from junior Allison Muer.

    Schiesel, who described the game as “unforgettable,” said the team didn’t let the goal get to its head. Yengo agreed.

    “(We want to) make sure we don’t start celebrating until the final whistle blows,” he said. “You just hold your breath . and play smart soccer.”

    Rivard said the victory against Stevens Point made the win that much better.

    “We’ve had such a long history with Point . They’ve always been a rival of ours,” she said. “This was such a hard fought game, so well played on both sides.”

    The team credits much of its success to its bench.

    “The bench is huge,” Wahome said. “The depth allows you to have a spring in your legs and to have the extra oxygen in your tank as the game gets older.”

    Another thing Wahome attributed the Blugolds’ win to is the variety in their scoring ability.

    “On any given day, you do not know where the threat is coming from, like today, this is a freshman that scored the game winning goal,” he said.

    Both coaches were very happy with the outcome of Saturday’s game.

    “Our girls just have that determination, they have a no-lose attitude,” Wahome said.

    “This was the icing on the cake . we knew we had a good season, but this makes it a great season.”

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Soccer three-time champions of WIAC