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 splits in non-conference games

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team opened play last weekend by splitting two games against a pair of non-conference

    Senior Rachel Nerison led the way in the season opener on Friday, with two goals on the way to a convincing 4-0 victory against DePauw University (Ind.). The team then dropped their second game 3-0 on Saturday in a tough matchup against no. 7 ranked Wheaton College (Ill.), a non-conference rival for the team throughout the years.

    On Friday, the team didn’t take long to net their first goal of the season, as sophomore Paige LeGate was able to score just six minutes into the game.

    Junior Alyssa Walker said the team definitely was a bit nervous to start the year, but they made sure to use that to their advantage.

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    “I think that (nerves) were really good for us, we always make them a positive thing,” Walker said. “I think we just came out really strong, and were just really excited to be playing as a team for the first time, and just wanted to keep going once we got that momentum up.”

    Twelve minutes later, Nerison scored the first of her two goals and the team brought a 2-0 lead into the half. After the break, Nerison added her second goal and later on, freshman Melissa Leister rounded out the scoring with her first collegiate score.

    Nerison, who led the team in scoring last year, seems to be picking things up right where she left off.
    “It definitely was a great way to start, but it wouldn’t have been able to happen if it wasn’t for my teammates too, and the way that we’ve been practicing so well together,” Nerison said. “I have high expectations for myself, but I always do and I’m hoping that it’ll be a good season, not only for me, but for our team as a whole.”

    On Saturday, the team was able to keep up with Wheaton throughout the game, but just struggled to finish the chances they had. For earning a 3-0 win, Wheaton only outshot Eau Claire 15-10 and the teams tied in corner-kicks with five apiece.

    Walker, a team captain and key defender, liked what she saw from her teammates in the game, but was quick to give Wheaton credit.
    “We hung around through the game, they were just able to finish off their opportunities … and I will be the first to say they were good goals,” Walker said. “It definitely just taught us that we still have work to do, but that we can play with these types of teams, though.”

    Eau Claire is now 1-1 for the year and has a weeklong break before another pair of non-conference games this weekend. On Friday, they take on St. Benedict (Minn.), which will be followed up by a Saturday night game against Augsburg College (Minn.). The team then opens conference play the following Wednesday against UW-Superior.

    Nerison, who has been part of several strong teams in her collegiate career, has a good feeling moving forward.

    “After seeing the talent that we got in with our freshmen class, and to see everyone returning at the top of their game, it just got me really excited for this season,” Nerison said. “I just think that we can do really great things this year. I don’t think that we should have any problems capturing the conference title this year; I am very confident in that.”

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    Women’s soccer splits in non-conference games