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UWRF soccer team confident in future

October 10, 2013

The UW-River Falls women’s soccer team has undergone a changing of the guard on the field this season.

“We lost a lot of upperclassmen. We definitely have a younger team this year,” said junior forward Alex Swatloski. “We didn’t lose that much in skill; I think we actually gained.”

The biggest hole the team has had to replace was three time All-WIAC, Academic All-American and Capital One College Sports Information Directors of America All-Academic first team member Carlin Bunting, who graduated last year. Swatloski said the team has done a good job stepping up to replace some of the graduated seniors.

“A few freshman have come in and really stepped it up,” Swatloski said. “They (the freshman and underclassmen) are going keep stepping it up, they’re going to need to.”
The team has had a rocky start to the season, however, as its record is currently 4-7, along with a 1-2 conference record. Since conference play has just begun, Swatloski said observers shouldn’t be too quick to write off the Falcons.

“The record doesn’t say that we’re doing well, but our team is confident that we’re going to do better,” Swatloski said. “So I think we’re doing pretty good.”

Right now the team is focused on qualifying for the WIAC tournament, which begins on Nov. 5, at the end of the season. To qualify, the team must be in the top six in the WIAC, it is currently in eighth place.

“It’s still super early in the season, we still have six WIAC games left. We don’t base how well our team plays based off of the non conference games, their more of a tool to develop our play for the conference games,” Swatloski said. “I think [finishing] fourth or fifth is realistic for us.”

The team plays three road games before returning home on Oct. 19, for a special game.
“The past two years we’ve had this game in dedication and to raise awareness for caner in general, plus a specific one,” Swatloski said.

Each women’s soccer team in the WIAC plays one awareness game in October. None of the game’s are for the same disease, though. UWRF’s game is for endometrial cancer awareness. The schools pick a specific awareness on how it has effected the team in some way.

“A couple of the girls on the team have lost their mom to cancer. And Alyssa Manor’s mom passed away last year from cancer,” Swatloski said.

Not only will the Falcons be playing their awareness game on Oct. 19, but they will be playing against UW-Stevens Point, a team which Swatloski said the Falcons are looking forward to playing this year.

“Stevens Point is going be a big test to see where we’re at. I know [Head Coach Sean McKuras] has talked about it a little bit and he’s really excited to see how we are going to play against them since we didn’t do so hot last year,” Swatloski said. “From our schedule at this point, going forward, Stevens Point is our biggest competitor.”

The Falcons will also play in UW-Platteville’s suicide awareness game on Saturday, Oct. 12, at Platteville.

The soccer team’s next home game will be the endometrial cancer awareness game at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 19.