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Soccer team loses in semifinals of WIAC playoffs to UWEC

November 12, 2009

The UW-River Falls soccer team won the first round of the WIAC playoffs before losing in the semifinals agaisnt second seeded UW-Eau Claire by four goals Nov. 5.

The Falcons, who were the third seed in the playoffs, faced the UW-Stout Blue Devils in the first round Nov. 3 in front of roughly 80 fans. The game went to a shootout, which the Falcons won after a 1-1 tie. The lone goal was scored for the Falcons by senior Kayla Scott, her third goal of the season.

The goal was the first of the game, which came at 14:37. The Blue Devils evened the game at 39:48, and the two teams remained tied through regulation.

They also remained tied through two overtime periods, which results in a shootout in a playoff game.

The Blue Devils only scored on three of their five attempts against goaltender Rachel Thompson, while Cassie Stang, Eryn Lansverk, Megan Church and Carlin Bunting all scored in the shootout to give the Falcons the victory.

The Falcons won the shootout against the Blue Devils 4-3, to put them in the semifinals in the WIAC playoffs.

According to the box score, the game was similar to a 1996 WIAC playoff game, when Stout and River Falls went into a shootout after a 1-1 tie. UW-Stout won the game in a shootout, also 4-3.

Head Coach Sean McKuras said it was a team effort that came in the first round playoff win.

“Everyone on the team made a contribution to the game,” he said. “Our team does a great job of supporting each other.”

Scott, who scored a goal in the first round game, also commented on the team’s ability to come together in a close game.

“We have to count on the whole team to play a good game and do their part,” she said. “As a team we come together and win, even through tough situations.”

After the win, the Falcons started preparations to face the second seeded UW-Eau Claire team, who won the last contest 5-2 in the regular season.

After playing them already once in the season, the players said they knew what to expect from the Blugolds.

“They are a very quick team with a good passing game,” senior Jessi Larson said. “We know what to expect, and we’re looking to go into Thursday’s game with a focused mentality and will to win.”

McKuras said that the Falcons team had a shot at getting revenge on them by beating the team in the playoffs.

“Eau Claire has been at the top of the league for several years now,” McKuras said. “As a team we need to realize that we have the talent level to beat them.”

The game against the UW-Eau Claire soccer team went very differently for the Falcons, getting shut out by goaltender Emily Kidd in front of 100 fans. The
Blugolds had 20 shots on net in the game, while the Falcons only had six.

The final score of the game was 4-0, which put the Blugolds in the championship game Nov. 7 against the top-seeded UW-Stevens Point team.