Women’s Soccer face tough round one loss

Tyler Job, Senior Staff Reporter

Despite a late game surge, the UW-Whitewater women’s soccer team could not overcome a one goal deficit and fell to Hope College (Mich.) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, 1-0, Nov. 10 in Chicago.

“Our teams were really evenly matched, which made it fun to end it on a pretty hard game,” said senior Marie Lesperance.

Fittingly, the contest took place on a chilly, cloudy day with a snowy playing surface.

The Warhawks started the game aggressive for the first 15 minutes, but could not find the back of the net on any of its shots.

Hope College then began to turn the tide on offense, but similar to the Warhawks, none of the Flying Dutch’s shots went past sophomore goalkeeper Nina Yonan, who only had to make one save throughout the entire half.

Not even two minutes into the second half, the Flying Dutch drew first blood on a goal from midfielder Rylie Dalton, who finished her own rebound.

The Flying Dutch had a couple more opportunities to score after, but Yonan made the saves.

UW-W would eventually give Hope College a fiery run on offense within the last 15 minutes of the contest. The Warhawks would register two shots on goal in the 79th minute alone, but Hope goalkeeper Jordanne Ellingboe made both stops.

The ’Hawks would again pressure the Flying Dutch in the 84th and 85th minutes on two consecutive corner kicks, but neither could find the net.

Junior defender Payton DeLuga gave her team one more shot – no pun intended – in the final 10 seconds but her kick sailed high, and the Warhawks ultimately fell just short.

“I thought it was a well-played game,” UW-W head coach Ryan Quamme said. “The weather conditions were a little tough…It made it difficult for both teams to control the ball and possess it. I thought the team played incredibly well…We had some great efforts to get (the goal) back.”

The aforementioned two shots on goal from UW-W that came late were the only two that came throughout the whole game. UW-W in addition had five saves and nine corner kicks.

The Warhawks conclude the season with an overall record of 14-4-4, while Hope improved to 19-2-1. The Flying Dutch would lose to the University of Chicago, 4-0, in the second round Nov. 11.

Despite the loss, Quamme noted that his freshmen class – a group that scored 21 of the team’s 47 goals throughout the year – is a promising aspect of the team’s future.

“It’s a very talented group,” Quamme said. “There’s a few talented players that might not have seen as much playing time…But it’s a class were extremely excited about.”

UW-W’s loss to Hope was also the final game for seniors Lesperance, Devin Polk and Morgan Beaty. During their time, the Warhawks earned two WIAC titles, two WIAC tournament titles and four consecutive NCAA tournament berth. One of the four trips was an Elite Eight appearance in 2015.

“The connections are irreplaceable,” Beaty said. “I can’t speak enough of how much my teammates have improved me as a person and helped me grow throughout my college career.”

The three seniors combined for nine goals in this year’s campaign, and have a combined 45 goals during their tenure at Whitewater.

“We’ll miss our three seniors,” Quamme said. “They did a great job leading us this year.”