Warhawks Advance to Eighth Straight WIAC Final
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women's soccer team advanced to their eighth consecutive Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship final with a 3-1 semifinal victory over UW-Oshkosh Thursday evening at Fiskum Field in Whitewater.
Nearly a month ago these two teams met in Oshkosh with the Titans pulling out a 1-0 victory, scoring on a penalty kick in the 57th minute. UW-W outshot UW-O 26-4 in that match.
Thursday, the Warhawks were again able to dominate the offensive end, outshooting the Titans 19-5, but this time UW-W was able to capitalize.
Marie Lesperance (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha South) took a shot on goal in the 14th minute that Titan keeper Jessica Galason deflected, but the rebound fell at the feet of Emily Mouille (Waunakee, Wis./Waunakee) who knocked it in for her fifth goal of the season and a 1-0 Warhawk lead.
UW-W had several other first half opportunities, the best, perhaps, in the 37th minute when Karina Rosales (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) beat the UW-O keeper to the far side, but her shot hit the post and the Warhawks headed into intermission with a 1-0 advantage.
The Warhawks came out of halftime applying intense offensive pressure. A corner and a shot on goal in the first five minutes kept the Titans on their toes.
Anna Boyd gained possession of the ball in the 52nd minute and slid a nifty pass over to Marie Lesperance (Waukesha, Wis./Waukesha South) who buried it in the net for a 2-0 Warhawk lead.
Just over two minutes later, the Titans scored on a counterattack to halve the UW-W advantage.
Ttension continued to mount as the half wore on, but neither team could put together much of a consistent attack. However, with under two minutes to go, Boyd gained possession of the ball, made a move to her left, another to her right, beat several defenders and ripped it into the bottom left corner of the net for a much needed insurance goal. Boyd leads the team with 11 goals this season.
Nina Yonan (Skokie, Ill./Niles North), coming off of four consecutive solo shutouts, relinquished the one goal and made two saves to improve to 7-0 this season.
Lesperance, Boyd and Rosales led the offensive charge with a combined 11 shots. Lesperance and Boyd put three apiece on frame.
UW-W will face top-seeded UW-La Crosse on Saturday in the WIAC Championship final in La Crosse beginning at 5 p.m. The Warhawks have won the WIAC Championship in four of the last five seasons. UW-L has only won the tournament once, and that was in 1996. The winner of Saturday's match will receive the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.