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Soccer Drops Heartbreaker to End WIAC Tournament Run
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
WHITEWATER, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Despite taking the game's opening lead, the UW-Eau Claire soccer team fell 2-1 in overtime at UW-Whitewater in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinal match tonight.
With the game tied at 0-0 after one half, the Blugolds came out strong in the second half and scored after just 18 seconds. Rachel Nerison (Jr.-Maple Grove, Minn.) found the back of the Warhawk net for her ninth goal of the year on an assist from Kara Ryan (Fr.-Plymouth, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong).
Less than 20 minutes later, however, Whitewater answered after an unassisted goal by Christina Tooren. It was her 16th of the year, a league best.
After 90 minutes of play the two teams were tied 1-1 but Whitewater put the game-winner into the net just 37 seconds into the extra period, ending the Blugolds’ chances of advancing to the WIAC Tournament championship.
Eau Claire had a tough time shooting the ball on a cold night in Whitewater, finishing with a season-low count of six to the Warhawks’ 16. Only two of the Blugolds’ shots were on-target compared to eight for Whitewater.
Amanda Hakala (So.-Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater Area) played the entire game in-goal of the Blugolds and picked up six saves. Two Whitewater goalies split time in the net.
The Blugolds came into the game with a 3-0 record in WIAC postseason play against the Warhawks but Whitewater beat Eau Claire in the regular season less than two weeks ago 3-2 in double overtime in Eau Claire. The Blugolds fall to 13-7-1 on the year while Whitewater improves to 11-6.
Whitewater now moves on to face No. 1 seed UW-Stevens Point in the WIAC Tournament championship at 1 p.m. Saturday in Stevens Point. The Blugolds must have to wait until Monday to find out if they have been granted an at-large selection into the NCAA Tournament.