Eau Claire (WQOW) — The UW-Eau Claire women’s soccer team fell just short of a postseason WIAC championship, and berth to the NCAA tournament last season. But the Blugolds have a lot of experience back for 2019, and have some unfinished business on the field.
They return eight starters total from 2018, including three-time first-team all-conference senior midfielder Emily Sullivan (11 goals, 3 assists). And after falling to UW-La Crosse 3-1 last November in the championship match, the Blugolds are hungry and motivated heading into this season.
“The great thing was, they weren’t satisfied with just being there last year,” says head coach Sean Yengo, who enters his 23rd season. “We kind of stopped and watched La Crosse celebrate, and hoisting up that WIAC conference championship trophy. And we wanted to be doing that.”
“We’re ready more than ever just to take that challenge on,” junior midfielder Anna Larson says. “And we know that last year it was flipping our record, and this year it’s that final step that’s probably going to be just as hard, but we’re ready for it.”
UW-Eau Claire is searching for their first conference championship since 2007, and first berth to the NCAA tournament since 2008. They hope their experience and chemistry up and down the roster, will pay huge dividends on the field.
“It’s nice to have a lot of the same team chemistry,” says junior midfielder Anna Kautzman. “We know how each other plays, we know where are teammates are going to pass the ball before they even do it, and it’s just nice to have that.”
“It’s definitely really good to have as many starters as we do coming back,” Sullivan says. “But we have so many other players that can come in and fill the positions without the starters. So that’s definitely exciting to have those types of players come in and do their job just as well as anyone else.”
The Blugolds open their regular season Friday at home, hosting Augsburg in non-conference at 4 p.m.