EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) — The last time the UW-Stevens Point and UW-Eau Claire women's soccer teams faced off, the Blugolds won a dramatic overtime game on a penalty kick by Gina Williams (Sr.-Madison, Wis./Verona Area).
This time the stakes were a bit higher, as the Pointers traveled to Eau Claire for a semifinal matchup in the WIAC Championship Tournament. The outcome was just as dramatic, only this time it was UW-Stevens Point that came out on top with a 2-1 overtime victory.
Paige LeGate (Jr.-Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) got the Blugolds on the board first at 24:21 on an unassisted goal. LeGate took a shot from the left wing that arced over the Pointers goalkeeper and into the goal for the 1-0 lead.
But overall, it was the Pointers that controlled much of the play throughout the game. Still, the two teams went into halftime with UW-Eau Claire up 1-0.
The Pointers came close to tying the game in the second half on a few occasions, but Nina Behrenbrinker (Jr.-St. Paul, Minn/Cretin-Derham Hall) came up with some huge saves to keep them off the board.
The Blugolds came up with a few chances of their own that likely could have put the game away. Williams had the best chance off a Blugold corner kick, but the Pointers' goalkeeper made a key stop.
In the final minute of play, with the Blugolds clinging to the 1-0 lead, the Pointers finally got one past Behrenbrinker. With 0:51 left to play, Jessica Ruch ran down the left side and put a shot on goal that was just out of the reach of Behrenbrinker to send the game to overtime.
The Blugolds came out strong in the early part of overtime, but it was Ruch once again who took the game into her own hands. At 97:19 she buried the game-winner and sent the Pointers to the final of the WIAC Championship Tournament.
Behrenbrinker made 16 saves as the Blugolds were outshot 18-7 in shots-on-goal. The Pointers also controlled the corner kicks as they held a 15-2 advantage.
The Blugolds finish the season 9-8-2 and also finished second in the WIAC regular season standings at 6-2. They will now wait until Monday when the results of the NCAA Tournament are released.