Bohanski leads Warriors to another victory

Allison Mueller

Freshman Abby Bohanski runs down the field with the ball Thursday against Fort Hays. (Photo by Jacob Striker)
Freshman Abby Bohanski runs down the field with the ball Thursday against Fort Hays. (Photo by Jacob Striker)

Sam Thiel/Winonan

After scoring two game-winning goals in the last two games, freshman Abby Bohanski continued her streak.

And against Fort Hays State on Thursday night, the freshman scored the third game-winning goal of her career, securing the Winona State University soccer team a 1-0 in-region victory in Winona.

Bohanski netted a goal in the Sept. 4 season opener to put Winona State up 3-2 after being down a pair of goals against Michigan Tech. The following Sunday, Sept. 6, against Northern Michigan, she put in the game winner for the 2-1 victory.

“I was super nervous starting out the season not knowing what to expect, but the upperclassmen have been really welcoming and that’s helped,” Bohanski said. “They’ve taught all the underclassmen what to do and how to run, what runs to make, and I’ve looked up to them. I’ve just made the right runs at the right time.”

“She’s been great for us,” coach Ali Omar said. “Obviously she’s a kid that’s doing everything we’re asking her to do. When she’s on the field, she’s delivering for us. She’s not one kid that’s taking a play off—she’s running every drill. She’s doing everything we’re asking her to do and to see that transfer to game situations it’s a blessing. Hopefully we can see some more from her.”

The majority of Thursday’s match saw Winona State and Fort Hays State in a defensive battle, with both teams scoreless after 45 minutes of play. The Warriors led in shots taken, 7-4, in the first period, with goalkeeper Rachel Oleson making only one save in the first half and three in the game.

“It feels great, that just means that the people in front of me are doing their job,” Oleson said. “And it makes my job a lot easier. The whole team played great defense.”

In the 58th minute, the Warriors finally got on the scoreboard when Bohanski found herself in front of the net. After having her initial shot blocked, Bohanski netted the rebound attempt for the only goal of the match.

The Tigers had an opportunity to tie it up at one in the 82nd minute, but Oleson stopped a shot by Jordan Hester that would have gone just inside the left post. Fort Hays had another chance in the final seconds but the shot by Hannah Jurgens sailed high as time expired, preserving the 1-0 final in favor of Winona State.

“We have shown everyone that we can finish the game and never give up,” Bohanski added. “We always have the courage and momentum to keep going and as soon as the team thinks they’ve settled in, that’s when we push and our momentum comes out and that’s when good things happen for us.”

Statistically, Kenzie Rose led the Warriors with a couple of shots on goal, with Bohanski and Meg Riebau each adding a shot on goal.

“The confidence is very high,” Omar said. “It seems like we can play the worst game and still can come back and do something. We’re actually trying to get out of that. Hopefully we can be confident from the get-go, we don’t need to come back and make it a great game.”

The Warriors now begin conference play, and Omar said the first wins are nice to have.

“It’s good to have the wins in your back pocket and go from there but it’s a new season right now,” he said. “We know we can play soccer we just need to focus on the NSIC and it’s a completely different beast altogether. Every game makes a difference and every game counts.”

Winona State tacked on another victory to their perfect record Monday night, with Bohanski scoring another goal, this one coming in the 65th minute, to seal a 2-0 win against Upper Iowa University. Kati Baker was the other goal scorer for the Warriors.

Winona State (4-0) continues NSIC play this weekend with matchups against Wayne State and Augustana. Both games are set for 1 p.m.