Late Goal Eliminates Titans From WIAC Tournament

Nicole Strieker had two of UW-Oshkosh's 10 shots
Nicole Strieker had two of UW-Oshkosh's 10 shots

Carlin Bunting scored with just under four minutes to play as UW-River Falls defeated UW-Oshkosh, 1-0, in a first-round contest of the WIAC Women's Soccer Tournament held Tuesday (Oct. 30) at J.J. Keller Field at Titan Stadium.

UW-River Falls (9-7-3) advances to the semifinals, where it will meet regular-season champion UW-Whitewater (13-4-1) on Thursday (Nov. 1) in Whitewater. The Warhawks were idle on Tuesday after earning a first-round bye.

In Tuesday's other first-round match, UW-Stevens Point (12-5-1) moved on after out-scoring UW-La Crosse (5-8-5), 4-2, in a penalty kick shootout. The teams played to a 1-1 tie through regulation and two overtime periods. UW-Stevens Point will visit UW-Eau Claire (9-7-2) for a semifinal round game on Thursday. Like UW-Whitewater, the Blugolds also had a first-round bye.

Semifinal round winners play Saturday (Nov. 3) for the WIAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. The contest will be held at the site of the highest remaining seed.

Bunting tallied her match-winning goal in the 87th minute (86:06) of competition. The five-yard shot followed passes from Janae Baron and Anna Kouba. It was the fifth goal of the season for Bunting.

Both teams had a chance to score in the first half, but shots by Alyssa Manor of UW-River Falls and Ashley Nicholas (Jr. • Wrightstown) of UW-Oshkosh bounced off the goal.

UW-River Falls, which played to a scoreless, double-overtime tie with UW-Oshkosh on Sept. 22, finished the match with 14 shots and five corner kicks. The four shots of Manor and the two each of Bunting, Kouba and Missy Barnett led the Falcons.

UW-Oshkosh (11-5-3), the defending WIAC Tournament champion, concluded the contest with 10 shots and three corner kicks. Lindsey Collette (Sr. • Green Bay) attempted three shots and Nicole Strieker (Sr. • Janesville) two for the Titans.

UW-Oshkosh goalkeeper Katie Berkopec (Jr. • Apple Valley, Minn.) saved seven shots, including six in the first half. The Titans also had a defender stop a shot.

UW-River Falls goalie Rebecca Kramer blocked four shots to earn the shutout.

UW-Oshkosh concluded its eighth 11-plus-win season in the past 13 years. The Titans went 12-7-4 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Championship in 2011.