EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Seven UW-Eau Claire Athletics teams were in action today, all on the road. Six of the teams competed in postseason events while softball kicked off the new season.
UW-River Falls 6, UW-Eau Claire 1
Playing in the semifinals of the WIAC Championship, the women's hockey team was unable to get by the fifth-ranked UW-River Falls Falcons as the Blugolds fell 6-1 at Hunt Arena today. Eau Claire struck first as Tory Heller scored her third goal of the season at 5:16 in the opening period. Emily Larson assisted on the goal. But the Falcons didn't stay behind for long and scored their first goal just 41 seconds later. They added another goal at 11:34 in the first period and led 2-1 after the first period. River Falls went on to score four more times, once in the second period and three times in the third period. The Falcons outshot the Blugolds 46-8.
Men's Indoor Track & Field
WIAC Championship - 2nd of 9
For the first time since the 1992-93 season, the men's indoor track and field team earned a runner-up finish at the WIAC Indoor Track and Field Championship. The 2014 version took place at UW-Whitewater, where the Blugold men finished with 131 points to the Eagles' 189. The Blugolds won six WIAC titles while breaking two conference and five school records.
Women's Indoor Track & Field
WIAC Championship - 6th of 9
The women's indoor track & field team finished in sixth place out of nine teams at the 2014 WIAC Championship after collecting 56.5 points. UW-La Crosse won the meet with 207 points. The women's 4x200-meter relay team had the best finish, coming in second place after breaking a school record. The Blugold women broke a total of three school records at the championship.
UW-Eau Claire 1, UW-Stevens Point 0 (EC Wins Mini-Game 2-1)
Down by one game in the semifinals of the WIAC Championship, the ninth-ranked Blugold men’s hockey team was able to win game two 1-0 over third-ranked UW-Stevens Point Saturday night to force a mini-game, and then won the mini-game 2-1 to advance to the final game of the WIAC Championship. Joe Krause scored the lone goal in the semifinal, short-handed. In the mini-game, Ross Andersen scored first for Eau Claire and Patrick Moore added another goal to give the Blugolds a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the extra game. The Pointers were able to score with 43 seconds left but Eau Claire hung on for the win. Next up, the Blugolds will host the finals of the WIAC Championship, Saturday, March 8 vs. UW-Superior at Hobbs Ice Center at 7 p.m.
Sara Axness led three UW-Eau Claire women's divers as they competed at an NCAA Division III Diving Regional at Denison University (Ohio) over the past two days. Saturday in the one-meter dive, Axness took second with a score of 466.70, breaking the Blugolds' old school record that has been held since 1994. She has now unofficially qualified to compete at the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship, which will be held March 19-22 in Indianapolis, Ind., becoming the first Blugold diver to compete at nationals since the 2001-02 season. The official announcement of selections will be made by the NCAA on Monday.
NCAA Regional - 11th of 12
Two UW-Eau Claire wrestlers have qualified for the 2014 NCAA Division III Championship, which will be contested March 14-15 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after competing at the NCAA West Regional at Augsburg College (Minn.) today. Both Nathaniel Behnke and Ryan Seidler qualified for nationals after finishing in first and third in their respective weight classes. This is the second year in a row Behnke qualified for nationals while Seidler will be making his first appearance. It's also the second straight year two Blugolds will be competing at the national championship.
UW-Eau Claire 10, St. Scholastica (Minn.) 6
UW-Eau Claire 14, Loras (Iowa) 1 - 5 Innings
The softball team kicked off the new season with two wins at the Rochester Dome Tournament today. The Blugolds opened the day with a 10-6 victory over the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) and followed with a 14-1 win in five innings over Loras College (Iowa) to close the day. Zana Lorbetske pitched in a total of 5.1 innings and recorded the win in both games. Eau Claire stole 16 bases, 11 in game one and five in game two while Casey Arnold and Kenzie Winning eached hit home runs.