The women's soccer team bounced back from a slow start yesterday, eventually earning a solid non-conference win over St. Olaf (Minn.).
Juniors Lisa Marco and Rachel Nerison led the way with a pair of goals that occurred within minutes of each other in the second half. Initially, the team had trouble finding a rhythm to start the game, and struggled to get scoring chances because of it.
Coach Sean Yengo said part of the reason they struggled was because the team didn't seem comfortable, which is crucial for their style of play.
"We play a very up-tempo style of soccer and I think they were playing rushed instead of composed," Yengo said. "As a result, we were coughing the ball up quite a bit."
Freshman Paige LeGate, who attempted three shots, was one of the few bright spots for the Blugolds during the first half.
In the fifth minute LeGate dribbled down the sideline and turned the corner with space in front of her. She looked up and took a shot from inside the box that sailed just past the post and the goalkeeper's outstretched arms.
Eau Claire started five freshmen in the game, and have 12 total on the roster. Nerison, a team captain, said she was more than pleased with the play from the new players.
"This is definitely a different level of play than high school is, but they were all ready for it," she said. "They all stepped on to the field confident. They knew what they were doing, and it showed."
The teams went into the half still knotted in a scoreless draw.
Marco said she could clearly see a difference in how the team came out after the break.
"I think at first it was a little shaky and panicky, but we talked at halftime and I thought that really helped us," Marco said. "The coaches calmed us down."
The team came out much more deliberate in the second half, and seemed to have a better idea of what they wanted to do.
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