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Women’s soccer team wins support

October 15, 2010

The women’s soccer team has a winning record of 9-5, despite the difficult schedule the team is up against, said Head Coach Sean McKuras. With only five games left in the regular season, the team will have to win the next few games to secure a spot in the conference playoffs, McKuras said.

The talent of the players, the fans and the leaders on the team are some of the reasons why the team is doing so well this season, McKuras said.

In the last three weeks, two players, Cassie Stang and Shaunna Joyce, were awarded the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference player of the week. Carlin Bunting, who plays midfield, is leading the WIAC in assists, according to WIAC statistics.

Last Saturday, the Falcons had their sixth shutout of the season against UW-La Crosse. The team record for shutouts is 10 and occurred in 2003, according to UW-River Falls sports website.

There are plenty of fans on the sidelines when the Falcons are on the field and they are an added component to the teams continued success, McKuras said.

The fan base includes a group of parents who bring more than just support; they also bring food. At one of the recent games, parents brought four different kinds of buffalo wings and five trays of desserts, said defender/midfield Jackie Rosenholm.

Even when the team is playing away games, the fans follow. Some of the parents drove all the way to Ripon College, which is around four hours away, to watch the Falcons, said McKuras. The Falcons won 9-0.

“There have been away games where we have more fans than the home team. It is great to look over and see our fans cheering louder than the home team,” said McKuras.

Other fans include young men who paint their chest to show their support for the team, McKuras said.

“[They] have made a real difference in our sideline feel and started to really learn about the game,” McKuras said.

One reason why the season has been so difficult is because of the schedule. Recently, the Falcons played a stretch of four games where three of the teams were ranked in the top 25 in the country, McKuras said.

The skill levels of the nine teams that are in the WIAC also contribute to the difficult season. The WIAC, which is commonly referred to as the conference of champions, is considered one of the toughest conferences in the country, said McKuras. WIAC has captured more NCAA national championships than any other Division III conference in history, ac- cording to WIAC’s website.

There are only two WIAC games and three non-conference games left in the regular season. McKuras said he hopes the team finishes with 10 or more wins and a top four finish in WIAC. This would give the team home field advantage in a WIAC conference play-off game.

The Falcons are currently in third place in conference play, trailing behind UW-Eau Claire and Stevens Point with a 4-2 record.

The next game is away against UW-White- water (6-6) on Saturday at 5 p.m. If the team makes it to the WIAC playoffs, the first round is Nov. 2.