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End of regular season nears

October 19, 2006

The UW-River Falls Falcons played three games in the last week and came away with a 2-1 record, improving their overall record 9-3-2 and bringing their WIAC record to 5-1-0.

Games started on Oct. 13 at Bethel. Falcon senior Ashley Peterson kicked off the scoring for the game and that was all the offense the Falcons were going to get, even though they had the shot advantage 23-11.

On Saturday, the Falcons traveled to UW-Stevens Point to take on the Pointers in a key WIAC game. With just 16 minutes remaining in the game, senior Amy Jensen scored to break the 0-0 tie and give the Falcons the 1-0 win.

On Tuesday, the Falcons took on St. Benedict at home and Peterson had two goals in the first half to lead the home team to a 2-1 victory.

Even though the Falcons have been very successful this season, there have been a number of elements that have caused difficulties as the season wore on.

“Injuries and sickness,” sophomore left outside midfielder Kelly Piersak said. “A lot of our starting players have been injured and hurt this season. Also just learning to play with each other and play new positions, but we’re coming through it all and excited for a great end of the season.”

A number of the players who went down with injuries played a key role on the team.

“Many of our starters have gotten some injuries and it’s been rough, but most play through it,” sophomore defender Betsy Straub said. “We have had three girls that have needed surgery already, one being our goalie and they have been out most of the season. That has been rough.”

This season, head coach Sean McKuras and assistant coach Ben Gaddis are doing all they can to help the team be as successful as possible. In fact, this team has the potential to win the WIAC Conference for the first time since the 2003 season.

“Our coaches are great. They tell us what has to be done and how to do it without yelling or screaming,” Piersak said. “They do everything they can to motivate us to reach our potential as a player and a team.”

Straub picked two games as two of the best games of the year. The first was a 7-0 victory over St. Kate’s and the other was a 3-0 win over UW-Stout.

“We were all on in that game,” Straub said of the St. Kate’s game. “We scored seven goals and kept a shutout. It was so much fun. I also liked the game at Stout. It feels great to beat them, especially 3-0 and on television.”

This season, the entire squad gets along well and cares for one another, which may play a role in their success this season, since they have played well enough for second place in WIAC.

“I love them. We all get along,” Straub said of her teammates. “Obviously some are better friends with each other than others, but nobody really hates anyone at all. We can all get along which is key in this sport because out on the field we have to be able to communicate and work well together and getting along off the field definitely has helped us on the field.”

The Falcons next game is at home against UW-Eau Claire on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. They travel to St. Olaf on Oct. 22. The Falcons final game of the regular season is against UW-La Crosse at 2 p.m.

There are a few elements to soccer that make it so fascinating and only those involved truly understand what they are.

“It’s a fast pace game that can change at any given moment,” Piersak said. “You never know what to expect, because on any given day any team can win. It’s an aggressive game and I love the physical aspect of it.”

With just three games remaining in the regular season, the goals for the rest of the year are quite simple.

“Win the last three games we have in the regular season, win the conference tournament and I guess just go as far as we possibly can,” Straub said. “So a lot of winning is in our future we all hope.”

October 17
Goals by period   1 2 Tot
St. Benedict……..  0 1 –  1
UW-River Falls……  2 0 –  2

SCORING SUMMARY:
  1.  13:40 RF Ashley Peterson (14) (Amy Jensen) – Long Run
  2.  26:00 RF Ashley Peterson (15) (Amy Jensen) – Give and Go
  3.  55:00 CSB Tina Lisk (3) (Alison Tourville)

Goalkeeping (min-ga-saves)
RF – Stieler 90:00-1-6.
STB – Strohm 90:00-2-2.