Soccer can’t quite kick out the competition

    UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team fall to Dubuque over the weekend

    More stories from Kaitlyn Zenner


    Photo by SUBMITTED

    Third year forward Tessa Grywalsky moves the ball up the field in a 1-0 loss against Dubuque.

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team was defeated by Dubuque in a 1-0 loss at Bollinger Field this past Saturday, Sept. 21 After Dubuque scored 14 minutes into the first half to take the lead, Eau Claire was unable to respond, dropping their record to 4-3 for the season. 

    UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer coach Sean Yengo said Dubuque usually poses a challenge for the Blugolds. 

    “It’s always a one goal game with Dubuque,” Yengo said. “They’re one of the better teams in their conference for sure. It’s a big game for us, but we walk away thinking this is a game we should’ve won.”

    Two of the Blugolds’ three shots on goal game came from Kayla Jedrzejewski, a second-year forward, while their last shot 88 minutes into the game came from Ava Quick, a first-year defender. Emily Sullivan, a fourth-year midfielder, said the Blugolds’ lack of anticipation in own passing caused their downfall this past weekend.  

    “I think in the beginning of the game, we started off not anticipating our passes and Dubuque kept stepping in front,” Sullivan said. “I think that’s why they scored their early goal. They anticipated our passing and got a goal out of it.”

    Yengo agreed, saying the team’s inability to keep possession played a key role in their loss. 

    “We had a really slow start in the first half, which was uncharacteristic of us,” Yengo said. “I thought Dubuque wanted the win more in the first half. We found a bit of our rhythm in the first half, but we struggled keeping the possession.”

    The Blugolds did prevent Dubuque from scoring in the second half, and third-year goalie Anna Sveiven said that was partially due to the fact that the Blugolds worked on fixing their approach as the game moved forward. 

    “Communicating what our issues were and trying to solve them went well this game,” Sveiven said.  

    Sullivan added that the team never gave up despite their lack of scoring throughout the game, which was a positive. 

    “We kept fighting,” Sullivan said. “We came out in the second half, and I guess we didn’t execute, but we had them on their heels for the entire half.”

    Yengo said that though keeping the ball out of Dubuque’s possession was their struggle in the first half, he thought the problem with the second half was that the Blugolds were unable to capitalize on the opportunities they had to score. 

    “We came out and really controlled the game, but we had to score some goals,” Yengo said. “We had some chances to put away, and that’s probably the biggest takeaway in a game like that where you need to execute in those critical moments.”

    When push comes to shove, Yengo said in order to do well this season, the team has to take advantage when they have opportunities.

    “We’re trying to win the conference,” Yengo said “That’s the goal. To get to that goal, we have to play for 90 minutes. Today, we really only showed up for the second half.”

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team looks to challenge St. Olaf at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 25 in an away game. 

    Zenner can be reached at [email protected]