Time for pursuit. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
Time for pursuit. Photo by Paul J. Seeling

Submitted by Coach Bob Hietala

BALDWIN, WI – The Blackhawks Girls' Soccer Team lost 2 and won 1 of the last three non-conference matches making their overall record 2-4-0.  On Good Friday, April 19, the Blackhawks hosted Menomonie on a wet and muddy Mill Pond field.  Overall the two teams matched up well sharing possession and opportunities. 

With the regular keeper out, Sophomore Alison Nutt filled the position and had an excellent match making 20 saves and allowing 2.   Menomonie scored first on a penalty kick which resulted from a handball in the box when Sophomore defender Juneau Paulsen was attempting to protect her face from a sharply kicked ball.  The Blackhawks would get a penalty kick of their own after Junior forward Ryver Gartman was poised to score in front of the net when the Menomonie keeper pulled her foot taking away the goal scoring chance.   Senior Jordan Drilling evened the score with a well-placed penalty kick.  Menomonie would score once more ending the match 1-2 in favor of the visitors.  

Regis/McDonell - On Thursday April 25 the team travelled to Eau Claire for a second non-conference match.  Regis/McDonell hosted the Blackhawks on their new turf field with wonderful weather for soccer.   Regis/McDonell always ends up being a quality match with both teams being evenly matched.  This game would be no different.  The Blackhawks started the game with a fabulous goal by Senior Jordan Drilling sending the team into halftime with a 1-0 lead.  Regis scored two quick goals in the second half as their center forward overtook the defense leaving keeper Alison Nutt one on one.   The Blackhawks continued to attack the Regis side.  Junior Clara Villaroya Pons found herself in possession in front of net after a ball hit by Senior Jessica Moor slammed off the top bar.  The Blackhawk forward took a hard foul putting the Blackhawks at the penalty spot.  Moore would have the opportunity to finish her attempt by taking the penalty kick and blistering it past the Regis keeper.  The game remained even with 40 seconds to go.   The Blackhawks took a goal kick straight into a fray which ended up in the Renegade's favor as they pushed passed defenders to score with 15 seconds remaining, ending the match with a Renegade win 3-2.

Altoona - The final match of the week was a third non-conference match at home against Altoona.   The Blackhawks dominated possession from the beginning having 23 shots on goal to the opponent's 10.   The scoring started with Junior Megan Hietala taking a penalty kick after an Altoona handball.  Junior Ryver Gartman would have 2 goals and an assist on the night.  Senior Jordan Drilling added to her goal total with goal 6 on the season, scoring in all but one match this year.  Sophomore Juneau Paulsen got her first goal of the season and Senior Jessica Moor came away with 2 assists on the night.  Altoona would score 1 goal ending the match 5-1 after 90 minutes.  

Summary - Overall the team did well.  I think we could have won the two matches we lost this week, but it just didn't go our way.  The team has struggled a little bit with injuries this season which is new, so we find ourselves playing new positions and supplementing players.  All three games were learning experiences and will help us be stronger.  We have a busy week of soccer as we play Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday against conference teams.  I would have hoped to be better than 2-4-0 at this time, but except for Rice Lake we have been competitive in all of our matches.