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 soccer clinches WIAC tournament bye with victory

    Posted 11:30 p.m. 10-26-2009

    The women’s soccer team completed their conference season on Saturday with a victory and concluded their regular season Sunday with a non-conference loss.

    On Saturday the team faced the UW-Oshkosh Titans in a defensive struggle, before coming away with a 1-0 win. The victory was the first for the Blugolds in their previous six games.

    “Overall there were times when we really controlled the game and there were times where we let them in,” Senior Sam Krueger said. “I mean, getting the win was good though, as far as coming back from all those losses.”

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    At halftime the score was knotted up at 0-0, even though Eau Claire had doubled Oshkosh’s shot total 8-4.

    Krueger said the artificial turf at Oshkosh may have had an impact on how the Blugolds were able to play during the game.

    “It was a lot to get used to used to, the field was a lot faster because of the turf,” Krueger said.

    Finally, at the 80:22 mark, sophomore Lisa Marco was able to break the deadlock for the Blugolds and score the first goal of the game on an assist from Junior Megan Hillesheim. The goal was the fifth of the season for Marco, tied for third most on the team.

    With the 1-0 lead, Eau Claire was forced back on defense for the final nine minutes, something head coach Sean Yengo thinks could be improved on.

    “It was a little hectic, it’s just keeping composed in the heat of the moment,” Yengo said. “That’s probably the one thing that we have to kind of get better at.”

    The score remained the same for the rest of the game, and Eau Claire improved to 6-1-1 in the WIAC with the win. In the process, the Blugolds clinched second place in the conference and a first round bye in the WIAC tournament. Oshkosh, who finished 4-3-1 in the conference, just needed to defeat the Blugolds to take second.

    “The nicest thing about second is that it gives us an extra day off,” Yengo said. “And this team really needs an extra day off.”

    On Sunday the team looked to build on their winning ways, and came out very fast against Carleton College (Minn.). After 20 minutes of possessing the ball on the offensive end, Eau Claire was faced with an unlucky bounce that swayed the momentum of the game.

    A Carleton player cleared the ball to the Blugold defensive end and it took a huge bounce right before reaching an Eau Claire defender. The ball ended up going over the defender’s head and landing at the foot of a Carleton player. As the Eau Claire goalkeeper charged, the Carleton forward chipped the ball over her head, snatching a 1-0 lead for Carlton.

    After the goal was given up, the Blugold’s style and pace seemed to change, something Yengo addressed with his team at halftime.

    “We’ve got to have a response immediately after they score,” Yengo said. “We can’t have this five minutes feeling sorry for ourselves, we have to figure out a way to get it back”

    Eau Claire was able to get back into the game in the 41st minute on a goal from freshman Emily Alsheskie. Alsheskie has now found the net six times this season, second most on the team.

    Coming out of the half the score was tied at 1-1 and the Blugolds seemed poised to grab the lead. Eau Claire fired an abundance of shots that were answered by miraculous saves from the Carleton keeper.

    Just five minutes into the half a Blugold player fired the ball from the top of the box that appeared to be sailing over the goalkeeper’s head. The ball looked to be on its way in before it was tipped by the goalie off the crossbar, and it bounced back into her arms.

    Minutes later an Eau Claire striker was on a breakaway and ripped a shot to the wide open far post. The Carleton goalkeeper again answered with an outstretched save to keep her team from falling behind.

    Eau Claire seemed to be robbed of a goal as each scoring opportunity was smothered. Krueger described how it felt with the word “frustrating.”

    After controlling the game for the first part of the second half, the team slipped up again in the 78th minute, conceding another goal. A Carleton player got a pass inside the box, turned, and rolled the ball past the arms of sophomore goalkeeper Emily Kidd.

    The Blugolds couldn’t bounce back after falling behind, and the score remained 2-1 for the rest of the game. Eau Claire fell to 9-7-2 after the loss to finish the regular season.

    Eau Claire will now have over a week and a half of rest before their first game in the WIAC tournament Nov. 7 against an opponent to be determined.

    “We’re just going to get rest and get healthy, we have a few key players that are out,” Yengo said. “If we can get healthy I think we can make a really good run.”

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    Women’s soccer clinches WIAC tournament bye with victory