Blugolds and Eagles Play to Draw in WIAC Opener

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — The UW-Eau Claire women's soccer team opened conference play with a 1-1 tie against UW-La Crosse Saturday afternoon at Bollinger Field.

The Eagles (1-5-1) controlled play early and actually had the first few good scoring chances of the game. But Nina Behrenbrinker (Sr.-St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) made a couple nice stops to keep the game scoreless.

With just twenty-three seconds left in the first half, the Blugolds (2-2-3) seemed to steal the momentum with a goal by Caroline Henderson (So.-Duluth, Minn./East). The assist went to Audra Zimmer (So.-Appleton, Wis/North) and the Blugolds took the 1-0 lead into halftime.

The Blugolds had a chance to really steal the momentum just a few minutes into the second half. The Eagles committed a foul in the goal box giving the Blugolds a penalty kick. Ashley O'Connell (So.-Appleton, Wis./East) took the kick but the UW-La Crosse goalkeeper got a finger on it and deflected the ball off the crossbar.

The play resulted in a corner kick for the Blugolds, but they could not capitalize and the Eagles seemed to take back some of the momentum.

In the 69th minute, UW-La Crosse got a goal on a shot that was lobbed over Behrenbrinker and into the goal to tie it up 1-1.

The Blugolds had a few opportunities to regain the lead, particularly two shots that went of the post, but neither could find the back of the net. With neither team able to get the go-ahead goal, the game went to overtime.

Neither team was able to notch the game-winner in overtime and the teams had to settle for a tie. The Blugolds outshot the Eagles 20-7, despite being outshot early in the game.

Behrenbrinker made six saves and moved to 2-2-3 this season in goal for the Blugolds.

UW-Eau Claire will be home again on Wednesday for a nonconference matchup with Bethel (Minn.). The game is set to start at 4 p.m. After that, the Blugolds will be on the road for five straight games, including four straight conference matchups. 

-JM-