Soccer qualifies for NSIC Tourney

Tarik Urvina, Staff Writer

The Wayne State College soccer team faced Augustana University on Friday, Nov. 8 for the Northern Sun Conference League. The Wildcats suffered a 2-0 defeat against the Vikings but still managed to qualify for their first NSIC Tournament since 2006.

The host started the game ranked as number two in the league and secured their spot in the NSIC playoffs. The Wildcats needed a win to clinch their playoffs spot and also was depending on the game between Upper Iowa and Winona State. Besides the loss, the Wildcats still claimed the eighth and final spot in the Northern Sun Conference League because of the result in the other game.

Upper Iowa defeated Winona State 1-0 and denied the Warriors a spot in the NSIC Tournament.

The host Vikings controlled the first half and went up by two goals, scored by Claire Dham and Morgan Keirstead in the 17th and 33rd minutes. The teams didn’t manage to change the scoreboard in the second half of the game but still had enough chances to do so. WSC held a 3-1 edge in corner kicks during the half but could not convert into goals. Augustana outshot WSC 12-9 while both teams had four shots on goal.

WSC’s second half performance against the Vikings will give WSC a positive feeling while going into the playoffs.

“Well obviously we would have liked to get the win on Friday,” senior defender Claire Gay said.

“We played better in the second half and there are positive takeaways. We have very high hopes for the playoffs. We know that we can play every team and show them what we really can do”

Senior goalkeeper Rachel Grisham faced 23 shots and made eight saves and conceded two goals.

Junior forward Rylie Wehner led WSC with five shots, all on target. Abby Sutton added three shots while Megan Phillips made two shots with one on target.

“I think last game, we came out flat against Augustana and definitely didn’t play like we know how to play,” sophomore midfielder Megan Phillips said.

“The second half was a lot better, we were holding them, creating more opportunities to go forward, and being dangerous in the attacking third.”

WSC’s first participation since 2006 in the NSIC Tournament is sealed and the Wildcats will travel to Saint Paul on Nov. 13 for a clash against the Golden Bears of the Concordia-St. Paul soccer team. CSP finished the league as number one, and this will also be their first participation since 2006.

“As far as qualifying for the conference tournament, the whole team us ecstatic about it,” Phillips said. “Our biggest goal to accomplish is play one game at a time, and face CSP head on, and play a complete game, not just one half.”

In their most recent meeting WSC lost 1-0 at Sea Foam Stadium in St. Paul a few weeks ago. This was Concordia’s third straight victory over the Wildcats and WSC will look to end that streak against them on Wednesday afternoon.