After three weeks on campus, the women’s soccer team is starting to play as a single unit and is forming into a competitive team, according to Head Coach Laura Burnett-Kurie. All of their hard work and effort over the weeks showed in a trip the team took this past weekend for the Advantage Emblem Cup Tournament in Duluth.
During the trip, the Gusties faced off against No. 10 ranked UW-Whitewater and UW-River Falls.
In the Friday game against UW-Whitewater the team lost 2-0. Despite the loss, Burnett-Kurie was impressed with the team’s resiliency and ability to play with high-level competition.
“The first game was a great performance,” Burnett-Kurie said. “We played a strong Whitewater team and proved we could play with them. We generated quite a few dangerous opportunities, forcing their goalkeeper to come up with a couple clutch saves and a couple shots sailed inches wide of the post. It was an extremely competitive game that gave us confidence moving forward.”
This confidence showed in the team’s next match where they secured a 1-0 win against UW-River Falls.
“Today’s game was a fantastic performance,” Burnett-Kurie said. “We came out with an edge from the get-go. We committed numbers forward, were creative with our movement, and we proved to be dangerous on the attack.”
“This is a great end to a fantastic weekend of adventuring and quality soccer. We proved we can compete with top teams in the region, and we’re excited to continue to grow every day.” — Head Coach Burnett-Kurie
Strong performances from Senior Sophie Leininger and Junior Chase Miller added to the team’s success on Sunday.
“Sophie did well all game, finding pockets of space on the field, and Chase worked tirelessly to join the attack – both coming together for the game-winning goal,” Burnett-Kurie said. “Sophie set Chase up perfect and Chase absolutely destroyed the ball.”
The Gusties controlled this game, outshooting UW-River Falls 20-9 and were strong defensively with Junior goalkeeper Ashley Becker making three saves.
Becker, Miller, and Senior Emily Odermatt were awarded with spots on the Advantage Emblem Cup All-Tournament Team to be recognized for their strong performances during the weekend.
This weekend was a success because it showed the team could play at a fast, competitive level, according to Burnett-Kurie.
“This is a great end to a fantastic weekend of adventuring and quality soccer. We proved we can compete with top teams in the region, and we’re excited to continue to grow every day,” Burnett-Kurie said.
The Gusties are back in action against Lawrence College at 7 p.m. on Sept. 8 in Appleton, Wisconsin.