Women’s Soccer Stumbles in NCAA Tournament

Joe Stark

After qualifying for the NCAA tournament two weeks ago, the College of St. Scholastica traveled to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to face the Eagles in the first round of the tournament last Saturday. The Saints came in as the number six seed, with the Eagles being the three seed and ranked fifteenth in the nation.

The upset-minded Saints entered the tournament for the ninth time in the past eleven years and tried to use that experience to their advantage. It was a rough start for CSS as La Crosse controlled the ball for a good majority of the the first 25 minutes. In those 25 minutes they got off twelve shots and four corner kicks, with a goal coming off one of those corners at the 18 minute mark. Hannah Zeis fired the first shot for the Saints thirty minutes into the game which was a bit wide. After that one shot, La Crosse went back on the attack, with five more shots and another goal to extend the lead to 2-0 forty minutes into the game. The end of the half would see one more shot by Zeis, again going wide and the Saints went into the half down 2-0.

The second half unfortunately was a lot like the first, with most of the action happening in the Saints defensive end. Just three minutes in Roni Rudolph was put to the test by having to make a quick save. Two minutes later CSS had to defend against a corner kick, which they did, and then another one two minutes after that. After fending off the tough attacks, the Saints had one of their best opportunities when Becca Rancour fired a shot that the UW-La Crosse goaltender fought off. That save led into an offensive attack for the Eagles and Rudolph again saw some action, but again she was up to the challenge and made a great save. Rudolph watched another shot sail wide, a header and shot go high as well, all in a five minute stretch. After five minutes of back and forth with no chances for either team, Rudolph kept the Saints in the game by making another save at minute seventy-two. After a UW-La Crosse foul, Kailee Katt was set up for a shot on goal, but the Eagle goaltender was ready and made a great save. The final whistle sounded and Scholastica lost the game 2-0 and saw their season come to an end.

CSS had a rough game, getting out-shot twenty-eight to five in the game, with only two of those shots being on goal compared to ten for the Eagles. The Saints were only able to get two corner kicks as well, compared to UW-La Crosse with nine. Individually, Rudolph managed to record eight saves while allowing only two goals in the loss.

The Saints will graduate five seniors this year: Cali Marsaa, Taylor Kunkel, Taylor Olson, Kadie Mattson and Reigan Struck.