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Soccer team stunned by Blue Devils

October 9, 2009

The UW-River Falls soccer team lost a close contest to the UW-Stout Blue Devils 2-1, in overtime at Ramer Field Sept. 30.

The game was played on a breezy afternoon, with roughly 90 fans in attendance staying through the blustery conditions.

The lone score for the Falcons came off a goal by sophomore Eryn Lansverk, who leads the team with eight goals. The goal was assisted by freshman Britta Elkin. The assist put Elkin’s assist total at three for the season.

At the time, the goal gave the Falcons a short-lived one goal lead.

The Blue Devils responded with a goal of their own 30 seconds later by Emily Stanke, her first score of the season.

The second half experienced more back and forth play, with the Falcons having possession a majority of the time. The Falcons outshot the Blue Devils 21-8 in regular time, but failed to capitalize with a goal.

The Falcons came close to scoring a goahead goal numerous times. Three of the Falcons’ shots hit posts, including two shots slamming off the crossbar.

Part of the Blue Devils success in making it to overtime was attributed to good goaltending. Stout’s goaltender, freshman Bridget LaVallee, had seven saves in the game. The Falcons’ goaltender, Rachel Thompson, had three saves.

The overtime period ended quickly. After two minutes of back and forth play by both teams, Stout midfielder Ali Sonsteby put her first goal of the season in the back of the Falcons net, immediately stunning the team and fans.

The loss places the Falcons at five wins, four losses and one tie on the season, with a WIAC record of 2-3. The win boosted Stout’s soccer record to three wins and seven losses overall. Stout has two wins and two losses in the WIAC.

The loss places the UWRF soccer team in a three-team tie for third place in the conference with Stout and UW-Whitewater.

Falcons head coach Sean McKuras said after the game that his team could use plenty of improvements.

“I didn’t feel like we executed,” he said. “You can look at the stats; we outshot them, we just didn’t convert.”

McKuras said the team needs to work on creating scoring chances, and passing with fewer touches and with more accuracy. Scoring chances are plays that set up players with a good chance to score a goal.

Although the team lost in overtime, they still have high hopes for the rest of the season. “We can beat any team on the rest of the schedule,” McKuras said.

McKuras also said that after coming off two losing seasons, it’s difficult to learn how to win.

The Falcons soccer team is relatively inexperienced, with only seven of its 22 players being juniors or seniors.

“[The soccer team] is a young team,” UWRF Athletic Director Rick Bowen said. “They competed well.” “Our team has the potential to finish in the top of conference this year, something that hasn’t been done in many years,” Lansverk said in an e-mail interview.