Women’s soccer wins in thrilling fashion during 1-1 week

Sealing their first conference win of the season, the UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team beat UW-Stevens Point on the road in overtime Oct. 5, ending the match with a 3-2 final score.

The first goal was sank by Stevens Point Emily Dietrich in the 18th minute but returned by sophomore forward Caroline Henderson in the 21st minute. The Pointers scored again in the 39th minute, but freshman forward Jackie Nailor scored again for the Blugolds, pushing the game into overtime.

Assistant coach Doug Raftery said courage around the goal has been a continuous theme throughout the season. He said the women are beginning play aggressively while taking chances, which showed in the second half of the game.

“I think, especially at halftime, we said we need to be more courageous; we need to be brave,” Raftery said. “The second goal that Jackie had scored midway through the second half, she found herself in a great spot. Instead of passing it off, she turned right to the net and whacked the shot in there.”

Eau Claire had 16 total shots to Stevens Point’s seven. Henderson brags the game winning shot in overtime with an assist from senior forward Paige LeGate.

“We’ve been so close,” Henderson said. “We’ve been tieing, we’ve had all these ties and all these shots but haven’t been able to score. Finally on Saturday we capitalized on everything and got a win.”

On Sept. 21, in their first conference match, the Blugolds tied UW-La Crosse in double overtime and on Sept. 28 in the second conference match against UW-Whitewater, they lost 2-0.

Henderson said the team just had not been making the shots during the games. Against Stevens Point, Henderson said before Nailor’s goal, everyone was pulled into the box, taking the chances the coaching staff has been pushing all season.

During Saturday’s match, Nailor wasn’t the only player to deliver. Raftery said LeGate’s assist during overtime was in a clutch moment to secure the win.

“Once we got that second goal to tie it up to 2 and 2, you could feel the momentum carry on, and it allowed us to get the game winner in overtime, which was a beautiful cross by Paige,” Raftery said.

Raftery said the Pointers ended the Blugold’s 2012-2013 season, so the win was extra sweet this year.

“We were real excited going in ,and they had ended our season last year so a little bit of revenge factor you could say,” Raftery said. “When it came to the game itself I think we played very well, and I think the head coach Sean Yengo would say the same thing.”

Blue Devil battle

On Wednesday night, Eau Claire faced UW-Stout in an Intrstate-94 challenge. The Blugolds fell short 3-2 against the Blue Devils in their fourth conference game of the season. Eau Claire outshot Stout 13-7.

Freshman midfielder Jocelyn Etten scored the Blugold’s first goal in the 32nd minute. Nailor scored the second goal in the 44th minute.

Eau Claire has two more road games against UW-Oshkosh and St. Thomas (Minn.) before a home match on Oct. 23. Henderson said it’s always harder for team to play on someone else’s field, but the Blugolds are not losing momentum.

The Blugolds are now 4-4-3 overall and 1-2-2 for conference games.