Soccer finishes regular season with set of wins

Soccer finishes regular season with set of wins

Sydney Mohr, Sports Reporter

The Winona State University women’s soccer team finished off its regular season strong with two wins over the weekend, pushing them into the sixth seed for the NSIC tournament.

Winona played on Friday, Oct. 26 against Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota and won a shutout game 3-0. They then turned around and played on Sunday, Oct. 28 against University of Sioux Falls at home for the final regulation game of the season and Senior Day, which brought them a 2-0 shutout win as well.

Friday’s game brought tough defense to the field. Goals of the night were scored at the 24-minute mark by senior Abby Bohanski, at 24:53 by sophomore Melissa Greco and then at 66:22 by first-year Riley Harmon, assisted by Bohanski. It was a quick and successful game for the Warriors to bump their numbers in the NSIC ranks.

Winona State University celebrated Senior Day with a convincing 2-0 shutout of Sioux Falls, which successfully punched the Warriors’ ticket to the postseason. Seniors Bohanski and Addie Royer each scored, while senior goalie Jourdan Valkner managed a shutout for her last regular season game as a Warrior.

Winona entered Sunday’s matinee needing a win to secure a spot in the NSIC playoffs but was unable to crack the Cougar defense in the first half despite holding a 9-5 advantage in shots taken. As it has been the case all season long, the Warriors’ increased offensive intensity paid dividends in the second half of play.

The two Warrior goals came within minutes of each other shortly after the second half kicked off. Royer cracked the scoring seal from the top of the box off a feed from Bohanski in the 59th minute of action. Just 90 seconds later, Bohanski broke free of the Sioux Falls defense and dribbled past one final defender to net her team-leading fifth goal of the year to make it a 2-0 game.

It marked Bohanski’s 32nd career goal, which is ninth-best in program history and she cracked the program top-10 in total points (82) with three more in the regular season finale.

Sioux Falls attempted a comeback with seven shots in the second half, but the Winona defense stood tall for its seventh shutout of the season. Valkner made the save of the game with just under 20 minutes remaining, denying the Cougars’ Lilly McKown with her right hand at the corner of the net.

Valkner improved 5-6-1 in net this season with her seventh career shutout in goal, recording five saves on Sunday.

The Warriors uncorked 19 total shots, led by junior Georgette Topalis and landed eight on target.

Winona State earned the sixth seed in the NSIC Tournament with the victory and ended Sioux Falls’ season.

“I am so proud of these girls and all they have done this season,” said head coach Matt Kellogg. “They have really pulled together and made this such a great season for everyone. I know they’ll continue on with high spirits through the NSIC tournament.”

The first game of the NSIC tournament will be on Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. against Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.