Freshmen guide ‘Hawks victory on Senior Day

Junior+defender+Payton+DeLuga+goes+up+for+a+header+against+MSOE.+DeLuga+recorded+one+assist+during+the+game+and+anchored+a+Warhawk+defense+that+only+allowed+one+shot+on+goal+all+game.

Evan Halpop

Junior defender Payton DeLuga goes up for a header against MSOE. DeLuga recorded one assist during the game and anchored a Warhawk defense that only allowed one shot on goal all game.

Tyler Job, Staff Writer

On a special day commemorating the No. 13 UW-Whitewater women’s soccer team seniors, it was, somewhat ironically, the younger Warhawks players who stepped up en route to a UW-W 4-0 shutout over the Milwaukee School of Engineering.

It was also unseasonably hot during the contest, with temperatures reaching into the low 90s. Thus, there were two water breaks for both squads throughout. One water break was granted each half.

The Warhawks began the game firing on all cylinders. Within the first five minutes, UW-W registered four corner kicks, but was unable to score on each of them. Senior midfielder Devin Polk came close to a senior day goal in the third minute but the Raiders’ goalkeeper, Mary McFee, made a good stop.

“We wanted to get a quick start,” UW-Whitewater head coach Ryan Quamme said. “Even if we don’t get a goal, we want to put a lot of pressure (on MSOE) and we know we’re capable of doing that. I was very pleased, especially with the weather, of the way the women came out and played.”

UW-W eventually drew first blood in the 23rd minute after freshman forward Anna Boyd broke free from several MSOE defenders and scored off a one-on-one with McFee. Boyd’s goal was her fourth of the season.

About four minutes later, the Warhawks scored again after drawing a penalty in the goalie box. Junior midfielder Mackenzie Serbousek took care of the penalty kick. It was Serbousek’s third goal of the year.

Freshman forward Meghan Riordan almost put the game away for the ’Hawks in the 44th minute after breaking loose but was halted by McFee.

Another freshman, midfielder Katy Kusswurm, had the same opportunity for UW-W in the 73rd minute but her cannon darted off the top crossbar to keep the score 2-0.

Riordan finally got her moment scoring her first career goal to essentially seal the game for her team in the 79th minute, leading 3-0.

Yet another freshman, forward Giana Rogala, scored the final goal for the Warhawks in the 90th minute to ultimately make the outcome a 4-0 win for UW-W. Similar to her fellow freshman teammate, Riordan, Rogala’s goal was the first of her career.

Polk praised her younger teammates for stepping up their game on a day meant for players like Polk.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Polk said. “What we play, it doesn’t matter who you are from the seniors all the way down to the freshman. You never know when your moment is going to come.”

With the win, the Warhawks improve to 6-1-2 on the season.

After the contest, the three UW-W seniors – Polk, and midfielders Marie Lesperance and Morgan Beaty – were recognized for their accomplishments. Lesperance, Polk, and Beaty have scored a combined 42 goals for the Warhawks. Since 2014, the UW-W has won two WIAC conference titles, two WIAC tournament titles, and three NCAA tournament appearances, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2015.

“(Senior day) was really about the team,” Polk said. “We’re trying to do a top dog approach where we kind of serve the underdogs and serve the younger players.”

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