Blugolds scoring woes continue

    UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team pulls off a tight win last saturday, but drops Wednesday’s battle with Tommies

    More stories from Trent Tetzlaff

    Senior Ashley Seymour juked a defender, dribbled down the right sideline and served a cross-field pass into the goalie box. However, the player on the other end of the pass, senior Tara Dennehy, missed the ball and a game-tying header by inches.

    These sorts of near misses have summed up the UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer season in a nutshell, and specifically Wednesday’s home loss to University of St. Thomas (Minn.).

    Head coach Sean Yengo said the team has put themselves in the right position to score this season, but the ball just hasn’t bounced the right way at times.

    The ball bounced the right way this past weekend for Eau Claire as they defeated conference foe UW-Stevens Point 1-0 on the road, but just as the Blugolds got momentum on their side, it was gone as they then fell to St. Thomas 1-0 Wednesday night.

    After splitting games over the past week the Blugolds now sit at 4-8-3 and 3-2 in the WIAC.

    Saturday in Stevens Point, the Blugolds came into play riding a three-game losing streak. However, thanks to seniors Dennehy and Seymour, Eau Claire was able to end the skid, Yengo said.

    Eau Claire came out quickly in the first half with Dennehy putting two shots on goal within the first 10 minutes of the game.

    Despite the early push, the Blugolds weren’t able to capitalize until a breakthrough in the second half by Dennehy. As the Pointers looked to attack on offense early in the second half, Dennehy took the ball away and went on the counterattack, putting in a goal from just outside of the goal box.

    The goal, which proved to be the game winner, Yengo said, is a tribute to how hard Dennehy has worked all season.

    “I was pleased to see Tara score the goal as it was really timely for us,” he said. “She’s been working extremely hard doing extra things at the end of practice and put herself in a good position.”

    Eau Claire only allowed the Pointers four shots all game, because of the strong defensive pressure all game, Yengo said.

    Despite the morale boost Saturday’s win gave the team, Yengo said, the offensive troubles and a mental breakdown defensively was enough to put the Blugolds in a hole early against St. Thomas on Wednesday night.

    After three shots on goal early in the game and a good look on a free kick, the Blugolds offensive attack fell apart, allowing the Tommies’ possession, which they took advantage of, scoring a goal at 23:26 of the first half.

    That goal was all the Tommies needed, as they hawked the Blugolds’ strikers all game on defense.

    Seymour said the team is doing things right offensively and defensively, however, they need to do more when they get opportunities with the ball.

    “I think we need to just work more on finishing the opportunities that we get,” she said. “We are good at creating opportunities but we need to reward ourselves with more goals.”

    Yengo said a physical conference win and a tough loss to teams like the Tommies are the kind of games they expect this late into the season.

    “We are finding out that anyone in the conference can beat anyone on any given day,” he said. “We’ve just got to keep bringing our best soccer and play a full 90 minutes, as this late in the season that is what it takes to win.”

    The Blugolds look to put their recent loss behind them as they will take to the road for a 2 p.m. game Saturday against UW-Oshkosh.