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2006 UW-Eau Claire Soccer Season Preview
Posted: Saturday, August 26, 2006
The 2006 UW-Eau Claire soccer team will look to duplicate last year's success as the team won its first conference championship in school history and made it all the way to the second round of the Division III NCAA Tournament.
In 2005, the Blugolds went a perfect 10-0 at home, capping it off with a 2-1 victory over UW-Oshkosh to claim the WIAC Tournament championship. The Blugolds then went on to defeat Augustana College in a sudden death shootout in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. However, the Blugolds season ended in the second round to then defending champion Wheaton College in a 2-1 overtime loss. It was the farthest any Blugolds soccer team had ever been.
The Blugolds finished with an overall record of 15-3-5. The 15 wins tied for the fourth-most wins in team history.
The Blugolds, who are ranked 19th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas preseason poll, have a lot of experience coming back this season with 16 letterwinners and four All-Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) selections returning.
Midfielders Liz Kooistra (So.-Lakeville, MN) and senior Emily Meisinger (Sr.-Green Bay, WI/Notre Dame Academy) were third and fourth on the team respectively in points on their way to be named to the All-WIAC team. As a freshman, Kooistra finished third on the team with six goals. Meisinger finished second on the team in assists with five.
Defenders Allison Smith (So.-Bloomington, MN/Jefferson) and senior Becky Westbrock (Sr.-Oakdale, MN/North St. Paul) were also All-WIAC selections in 2005. The Blugolds defense was dominant last season as they allowed just 13 goals in 23 contests and held their opponents to just seven shots per game. Last season, the Blugolds did not allow a goal until the fifth match of the season, a streak of 453 consecutive minutes. The Blugolds had 14 shutouts in 2005.
Senior Maria Iaizzo (Sr.-White Bear Lake, MN) is also back for the Blugolds. Iaizzo finished second on the team in goals (7) and in points (17) in 2005. Aimee Bretl (Sr.-Port Washington, WI) is the only other senior for the Blugolds. Bretl played in 21 matches last season.
The Blugolds also return both goalkeepers from last year. Sophomore Allie Rivard (So.-Plymouth, MN/Wayzata) had a record of 8-1-2 and had 55 saves. Junior Liz Weirick (Jr.-Kenosha, WI/Tremper) went 7-2-3 and had 30 saves last season. The Blugolds also added some depth at goalkeeper as Anne Scharenbroich (Jr.-White Bear Lake, MN) returns after sitting out last year. Scharenbroich is a two-year letterwinner and participated in 18 matches in 2004.
With seven freshman to go along with the experience coming back, the Blugolds will try to make another run at the NCAA Tournment
- JR -