By Josh Sinclair
Nov. 3, 2011
The UW-Whitewater women’s soccer team was defeated 2-1 at the hands of the UW-Eau-Claire Blugolds in their final WIAC matchup.
The loss was the Warhawks second in conference loss of the season and lands the team in third place in the conference.
“I’m proud of our student athlete’s effort against UW-O, they executed the game plan well and were unfortunate not to get a better result,” coach Ryan Quamme said. “I know the women look forward to the opportunity to play UW-O and UW-L and the rest of the WIAC again this week.”
The Warhawks allowed an early goal to the Titans and had to fight to even the score.
The pressure was kept on the Titan defense with shots in the 11th, 15th, 20th, 22nd and 24th minutes, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Whitewater finally tied the match in the 55th minute when junior forward Brianna Reid found sophomore midfielder Marie Lesperance in front of the net for a goal.
The game remained scoreless until the second overtime when a shot by Oshkosh forward Alek Kleis hit the crossbar, took an unfortunate bounce for the Warhawks, and was knocked into the goal to end the game.
“Soccer is a strange game and sometimes the team that dictates the play doesn’t get rewarded,” Quamme said. “We have been on both sides of it over the years. It’s why we stress our defensive and attacking principles daily in an attempt to limit the randomness of the game of soccer.”
However, the loss is not the end all for the Warhawks. The Warhawks earned the third seed for the WIAC tournament.
“Oshkosh was tough, I thought, because of the weather,” Reid said. “Adjusting to those conditions is pretty tough, but I think, overall, our team played very well. It was just unlucky about the result and how it happened.”
The Warhawks will have the ability to host the first game of the tournament at home when they face off against No. 6 seed UW-Stout.
“It’s going to be a battle for sure and it’s always difficult to beat teams twice in one season,” said coach Quamme. “We need to stay focused on our principles and continue to execute our game plan on Tuesday.”
The WIAC tournament is vitally important because the Warhawks are in a tough position this year with losses to La Crosse and Oshkosh. Winning the WIAC tournament comes with an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA tournament.
“The automatic bid is important because you won’t have to worry whether or not your in the tournament,” Reid said. “Getting the automatic bid can have us get prepare sooner. “
The Warhawks have been a tournament participant every season since 2011, but this season has more on the line.
“We have put our backs to the wall with the two overtime losses to UW-Lacrosse and UW-Oshkosh but I still feel strongly that this is the strongest team we have had in my eight years at UW-W and I know we will be a tough out in the post season,” Quamme said. “Our women have been extremely focused and intense since our Oshkosh result and are excited for the opportunity to get back on the field.”
UW-Stout ended the season with a record of 8-7-3 and was the final team to get into the tournament. Stout was one of the strongest defenses in the WIAC allowing just one goal per game throughout the season, including seven shutouts, which was tops in the conference.
The Warhawks will face off against the Blue Devils at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 at Fiskum Field.