Soccer’s playoff dreams conquered by Augstana

Soccer’s playoff dreams conquered by Augstana

Sydney Mohr, Features Editor

The Winona State women’s soccer team lost in the first round of quarterfinals for the NSIC tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 31 against Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The game started with senior Jourdan Valkner taking goal for the last time as a Warrior athlete. The Warriors managed to snag the ball within the first few seconds, and senior Addie Royer managed a shot on goal 39 seconds in, but it was saved by Auggie goalie Claudia Pueschner.

The Warriors kept a strong control over the ball and had many chances at a goal within the first 15 minutes, but could not find the right window of opportunity. Between 5:04 and 13:15, the Warriors had five shots made by Royer, sophomore Georgette Topalis, senior MacKenzie Challoner and junior Courtney Wiencek, three of which were on goal and saved by Pueschner, and two which were high.

By the 20th minute, Augustana had gained control over the ball and scored their first goal of the game, shot by Rebekah Thoresen and assisted by Skylar Moen. With quick turnaround time, the Auggies gained another goal at 23:54, scored by Rebecca Gasper and assisted by Riley Klose.

Trying to combat the ground lost, Winona made five substitutions over seven minutes to try and keep up with the Auggie offense. The Warriors got in two more shots in before end of period, made by senior Abby Bohanski which was high, and first-year Riley Harmon which was saved by Pueschner.

The Warriors made a quick bounce back in the second period, scoring their first goal only 16 seconds into the half. Wiencek managed to shoot past goalie Pueschner.

The Auggies and the Warriors both had multiple substitutions over the next ten minutes to combat the highly competitive defense and the close-scored game.

Morgan Keirstead of the Auggies got ahold of the ball and scored the third goal of the game assisted by Claire Dahm. The Warriors brought out more substitutions to bump up their defense levels, and even managed two shots, both of which were too high. Wiencek and sophomore Melissa Greco both got another shot on goal within the 81st and 84th minute but both shots were saved by Pueschner.

Within the last few minutes of the game, Alexis Legg of Augustana made the fourth goal for the Auggies of the game and, with not enough time for the Warriors to gain control of the ball, they ultimately lost within the first round of the NSIC tournament.

“It was a tough loss,” head coach Matt Kellogg said. “We were hoping we would be able to make it farther, but we played tough and fought as hard as we could as a team. I’m incredibly proud of this team and how far these girls have come within the season, and I can’t wait to see what the returning athletes will bring to the table next year.”

Winona State ended their season with an 8-8-1 record.