Warhawks punch tournament ticket

Tyler Job, Senior Staff Reporter

The UW-Whitewater women’s soccer team tried earning its third consecutive WIAC tournament championship over the weekend, but came up just short against No. 15 UW-La Crosse in the tournament final.

Even without the conference title, which would have granted the Warhawks an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, the team was selected as an at-large bid into the 64-team field.

Before the tournament championship, the two-seeded Warhawks defeated third seed UW-Oshkosh, 3-1, Nov. 2 in Whitewater. In the process, UW-W got some redemption from losing to the Titans earlier in the year.

The Titans had a chance to score early when midfielder Alexis Brewer beat sophomore goalkeeper Nina Yonan, but missed wide left.

UW-W then proceeded to take advantage in the 14th minute when junior forward Emily Mouille scored off goalkeeper Jessica Galason’s rebound, and ultimately took a lead her team would not surrender. Mouille’s goal was her first all season.

“I think it [the goal] just gave us a lot of momentum going forward to get an early goal,” Mouille said. “It was good to get that one early.”

Mouille was left alone against Galason in the 23rd minute after senior midfielder Marie Lesperance set her up with a cross, but Galason was there to make the stop.

In the 52nd minute, freshman forward Anna Boyd set up Lesperance with a cross of her own, and Lesperance took advantage to put UW-W up 2-0.

“We finished chances,” UW-W head coach Ryan Quamme said. “We created a lot of chances last time we played them…but I thought we executed the game plan.”

UW-O got a goal back about two minutes later after Brewer scored off a 25-yard cross from midfielder Addie Schmitz.

Both squads would go back and forth until Boyd put the game away in the 89th minute with her 11th goal of the year. Her score was unassisted.

Mouille noted she was pleased with how her team responded to its loss to the Titans last month.

“It feels really good,” Mouille said. “It’s always good to beat a WIAC team.”

Against UW-L, it took penalty kicks to decide the WIAC tournament winner. The Eagles got the better end of it by winning 4-3 in PKs.

The Warhawks took advantage of the missed opportunities from facing UW-L a couple weeks prior when junior forward Karina Rosales scored to put her team up, 1-0, in the 32nd minute. Rosales’ goal was her first this season.

UW-L answered relatively quickly in the 39th minute after midfielder Hayley Hargroder scored.

Yonan perhaps saved the Warhawks from disaster throughout the entire second half by saving all six shots she faced. Three of her saves came within the first three and a half minutes of the period, while the last three came in about a seven minute span late in the game.

Yonan’s save total cumulated to 10 – she had two in the first half and one in each overtime period – after the second overtime.

“We kind of got to the postseason, and we kind of thought she (Yonan) was the hot goalkeeper,” Quamme said. “She did a great job…I think herself and the team have a lot of belief in her right now.”

The score in regulation ended 1-1.

Mouille scored first in the penalty shootout, but UW-L returned the favor each time after missing its first penalty kick and ultimately went on to win, 4-3.

“It’s a tough way to end the game,” Quamme said. “I was proud of their effort.”

UW-W’s loss now puts the team at 14-3-4 overall, while the Eagles improved to 17-1-3.

The Warhawks will head down to Chicago to take on Hope College (Mich.) Nov.10 in first-round tournament action.