By Nick Hoven, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (blugolds.com) The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's soccer team started Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play on Saturday, defeating UW-Whitewater 3-2; the first victory over the Warhawks since the 2008 season.
The Blugolds started off strong as Maddie Ames (So. – Shakopee, MN) would receive a pass down the wing in the 18th minute and would cut to the middle and find the back of the net for the second time this season to put Eau Claire up early. UW-Whitewater would answer within a mere 45 seconds to tie the game at 1.
Shortly after, the Eau Claire defense would commit a foul inside their goal box to give the Warhawks a penalty kick. With the pressure mounting, Blugold goalie Sammy Lefaive (Sr. – Coon Rapids, MN) would deny Whitewater the lead as she sprawled to her left and made a diving save on the penalty kick.
In the closing minutes of the first half, the Warhawks would finally squeak by the Blugold defense and gain their one goal advantage, but it was short lived thanks to a persistent Eau Claire counter-attack. Kayla Jedrzejewski (Fr. – New Berlin, WI/Eisenhower) would find an opening and put the ball past the Whitewater goalie to level the score at 2.
In the second half, the Blugolds would keep the momentum rolling from their tying goal as Emily Sullivan (Jr. – Medina, MN/Wayzata) connected with the ball inside the UW-Whitewater goal box and scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Blugolds would control the ball the rest of the way to earn the win. Lefaive tallied eight saves on the day to improve to 4-4 on the season.