Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Warriors suffer tough loss in NSIC Tournament, end season 16-5

Dan Noth/Winonan


Despite seeing their streak of eight straight conference titles end, the Winona State University women’s soccer team played a season that Coach Ali Omar and the rest of the Warriors should be proud of.

WSU entered the conference tournament knowing they would have to have a strong showing to keep their conference title hopes alive.

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The Warriors lost two matches in the regular season, 1-0 against Minot State in September and 2-0 against eventual champion Minnesota State, Mankato.

The Warriors, however, ran into a Minot State team who peaked at the right time entering the tournament.

The Beavers would take the championship match in a 1-0 thriller, ending Winona State’s title streak at eight.

For the second time in the tournament, Minot knocked off a higher seeded team after beating Mankato in the semi-finals.

During the course of the season the Warriors posted an eight game winning-streak as well as 11 shutouts against NSIC teams.

“We had a very successful season, it was to bad that our season had to end so early,” said sophomore forward Cailyn McCauley. “Things just did not go our way and luck was not on our side.”

The Warriors finished with a 16-5 record, 13-2 in the NSIC, finishing second in both the regular season standings and in the conference tournament, but they were shutout of the NCAA Regional Tournament after the loss in the NSIC Tournament.

That doesn’t mean that all is lost, and with only three seniors on the team, the Warriors will have an experienced squad coming back next season, including a freshman class of 10.

After graduating players like Katy Soliday, Anna Lundeen and Jamie Babetch, the Warriors will have roles to fill, but with young players such as freshman Caitlin Lilly leading the offense and sophomore goalkeeper Alexandra Vial, the expectations will by high for next season.

“The goal of getting into and having success in the NCAA tournament is well within reach,” said junior Rebecca McCoy. “We are going to have a very solid group of players returning.”

In their first season with the Warriors, Lilly and Vial made considerable impressions. Lilly became an offensive weapon, leading the Warriors with four goals and in her first season after replacing an All-American goalie, Vial posted 11 shutouts while only allowing six goals in conference matchups.

“The hard work and dedication that our team has for our sport is one of our biggest assets,” said McCauley. “I believe that if we keep that up we will be one hard team to beat.”

With one last season, McCoy and the rest of the seniors feel that 2013 could be a very successful season.

“Being a senior won’t really change anything and I’m sure the other seniors will agree; we give everything we have every season,” said McCoy. “The only difference will just be knowing this is our last chance to do something special with the soccer program.”

Contact Dan at [email protected]

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